One of my favorite salads (or side dish, rather) is this fresh black bean and corn salad. There are many different versions out there and this one is mine. It pairs well with fish, chicken, steak, or solo and I have yet to meet the person who does not like it (not that I would be friends with the person who refuses to see how great this dish is).
I said "fresh", though you'll notice I have a bag of frozen corn. I normally slice corn off the cob, and I feel the milkiness of the fresh corn adds a lot to this recipe, though I had tons of bags of frozen corn in the freezer and it saved me from buying an additional ingredient. Besides, frozen vegetables are actually fresher than their canned counterparts, so the texture wasn't much different compared to corn on the cob.
Aside from the corn, the other ingredients are canned black beans, mini peppers, jalapenos, red onion, and the cilantro vinaigrette.
Usually, I just toss everything with fresh lime juice, olive oil, chopped cilantro, minced garlic, and a little salt, but this time I created this versatile vinaigrette. I have no doubt that this recipe can be used like a chimichurri sauce (which contains parsley) on meat, fish, or on salads. It's pretty good, and tasted better the longer it rested.
In the vinaigrette was cilantro, half the jalapenos, garlic, fresh lime juice, and olive oil, blended until the everything emulsified into a smooth green sauce. I thinned it out with a little water, then poured it over the salad.
The only downside to this recipe is that once you make it, you will have to keep making it forever. I hope you can live with that.
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Fresh Black Bean and Corn Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette
Recipe by Christina Provo
2 16 ounce cans black beans, rinsed
2 cups fresh or frozen corn (if using frozen, rinse under cool water until thawed)
1 cup finely chopped multi-colored mini peppers, seeded
3 jalapeno halves, seeded, deveined, and finely chopped
1/2 a red onion, finely chopped
1 cup lightly packed cilantro, rinsed
2 garlic cloves, smashed
3 jalapeno halves, seeded and deveined, and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-4 tablespoons water
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the black beans, corn, peppers, jalapenos, and red onion.
- Place the cilantro, garlic, jalapenos, olive oil, lime juice, and salt in a blender. Puree until smooth, adding tablespoons of water if needed. If the vinaigrette is too thick, thin it out with more of the water, aiming for a thick, pourable consistency.
- Pour vinaigrette over black beans, tossing to coat. Refrigerate an hour or more prior to serving. Serve chilled.