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Black Bean and Corn Salad – Summer 2015

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

OK…I’ll admit that it seems that I’m obsessed with summer salads made of black beans and corn…but when fresh corn appears at the local farmer’s market, I just can’t help myself. Today, as I assembled the ingredients needed to make my favorite seasonal salad, I discovered a few interesting items in the produce drawer of my refrigerator and decided to experiment with my salad yet again. One of the new ingredients was a small, bright red, Anaheim pepper, a sweeter member of the chili pepper family, which I added instead of the traditional red bell pepper used in the past. Another new idea for today’s salad was the addition of finely chopped fennel fronds, saved from the fennel bulb used in the Roasted Vegetable and Marinated Lentil Salad described in my last post. And when I tasted this revised combination, I wanted to share this “new and improved” recipe with you.  So here is the 2015 version of Black Bean and Corn Salad.  Who knows what changes I will make next year!
Black Bean and Corn Salad – Summer 2015
1 1/2 cups fresh corn cut from 2 – 3 ears white or bi-color corn (can also use frozen white shoe-peg corn, thawed and drained)

1 14.5 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 Anaheim red pepper, washed and dried
1 small red onion or one-quarter of a large red onion, peeled, to make ¼ cup finely chopped
leaves from 24 stems Italian flat-leaf parsley to make 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley (leaves from 12 stems cilantro and 12 stems Italian parsley can also be used)
fronds from one fennel bulb, rinsed, and dried to make ¼ cup finely chopped

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon Balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Kala Jeera (black cumin) seeds, crushed (can substitute regular cumin seed)

To prepare the vegetables and herbs:

Shuck, wash and scrub the corn to remove silks. Hold an ear of corn over a large bowl and use a short paring knife to cut the kernels from corn from the base to the tip of the cob. Repeat this process with the second ear of corn. Use a spoon to find and remove any remaining corn silks from the cut corn. .
Using a sieve or a colander, drain the liquid from the black beans, then run water through the beans to rinse them. Allow the excess liquid to drain from the beans and then add beans to the kernels of corn.
Wash and dry the Anaheim pepper. Place the pepper on a cutting board and cut in half. Remove and discard the inner membrane and seeds. Cut the pepper into one inch pieces.
Remove the peel and outer layer from the red onion. Cut the onion into one inch pieces.
Rinse the parsley and/or cilantro and wrap in a towel to remove excess moisture. Remove leaves from parsley and/or cilantro. Discard stems.
Rinse the fennel fronds and wrap in a towel to remove excess liquid. Cut the fronds into one inch sections.
Put the Anaheim pepper, onion, parsley and/or cilantro and fennel fronds into a food processor. Chop to a fine dice. Stir the diced red pepper, onion, parsley and/or cilantro and fennel fronds into the corn and black beans.
To make the dressing:
Mix together the olive oil and Balsamic vinegar. Add the fine sea salt and coarse ground black pepper. Crush the Kala Jeera or regular cumin seeds with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder to release the essence of the spice. Add the Kala Jeera or cumin to the dressing mixture. Whisk to blend.
Stir the dressing into the vegetable/herb mixture, blending gently to incorporate the dressing throughout the vegetables and herbs. The salad can be served immediately but the flavor intensifies if you wait about 20 minutes for the flavors to blend before serving. Left-overs should be refrigerated. The salad can be served cold but the flavor seems to be more pronounced at room temperature.
Makes 6 servings




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One Response to “Black Bean and Corn Salad – Summer 2015”

  1. Vicki Says:

    Hi Ninevah! Can’t wait for MacG to try this! You are sooo nice to post these delicious looking recipes! Many thanks! Vicki