Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fiesta Week: Day Three

I had to have beans and corn at my fiesta but didn’t really want to prepare them straight-up. I needed something a little fresher, lighter, and great for the summer. Besides, it had been pretty freakin’ sweltering out; the humidity was thick and I wanted to avoid making too many things that required use of a stove or burner.

The result was a colorful corn and black bean salad. To cut time and for the sake of preserving cool air, I used canned (shh, don’t say anything). Mixed with lime-cilantro dressing, the addition of chili powder and cumin incorporates smokiness with a slight kick, giving the salad more of a Tex-Mex flair rather than purely Mex. This was one of the first things done on the menu; a day ahead of the fiesta I sliced and diced, threw everything in a bowl, and on the day of I dressed the salad and that was it. This also works as a condiment, and if you have any leftovers it is great mixed into pasta salad.

Since I think it’s always nice to offer a regular green salad on the table, I searched for one that had some Mexican influence. A recipe for Mexican Chopped Salad with Honey Lime Dressing from a July 2003 issue of SELF magazine is what came up, and it was exactly what I was looking for. It’s got romaine lettuce with tons of Mexican staple vegetables thrown in such as peppers, radishes, and jicama. Jicama is a tropical root vegetable that you can now easily find in the produce section of most grocery stores. Eaten raw, it is crispy, sweet, and a pleasant surprise to those who have never tried it before. To top it all off, the salad gets a little added spice from fresh jalapeno in the dressing.

Corn and Black Bean Salad:

Yield: about 12 cups

- 1 can 15.5 oz black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups corn (frozen, fresh, or canned)
- 2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1 small sweet onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- ½ cup fresh lime juice
- 1 Tbs chili powder
- 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
- About 3 Tbs olive oil
- 1 Tbs honey
- 1 Jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Salt and pepper to taste

• Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. In separate bowl, whisk dressing ingredients together. Pour dressing over salad and stir to combine.

Mexican Chopped Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing
Adapted from SELF, July 2003

Yield: 1 large bowl of salad

- 3 heads chopped romaine lettuce
- 1, 15.5 oz can black beans
- 2 large tomato, seeded and chopped
- ½ jicama, peeled and chopped
- ¾ cup corn kernels (fresh, frozen, canned)
- ¾ cup thinly sliced radishes
- Half a ripe avocado, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 Tbs honey
- 2 Tbs finely chopped cilantro
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
- ½ jalapeno, chopped

• Toss all salad ingredients in a large bowl. In separate bowl, mix dressing ingredients. Pour dressing over salad and mix. Season with salt and pepper.


Lazaro Cooks! said...

Both salads are winners, but I am partial to the black bean salad. Awesome.

healthy mamma said...

Yum! This is one of my fav's! I like your dressing recipe! I put jicama in my salad too, it's wonderful, adds a bit of crunch.

Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron said...

Marisa, these 2 are gorgeous salad dressings! I heart the bean and corn dressing. I like the smell of cumin. I agree that it's hard to work in front of a stove/burner in summer!

Alison said...

I was just thinking of making a black bean salad with some extra i had. thank you!!

lishapisa said...

One of my favorites " Corn and Blackbeans" with salad, chicken or just rice and avocado...etc...soup :)
One of my sister loves making this.
Cooking from scratch is special but if we come upon a good product in can ...why not! ;)
Thank you,
CookNg Sisters


I love the dressing! Great week of cooking!

Pacheco Patty said...

Great summer salads, love the dressing:-)

Magic of Spice said...

Perfect fresh summer salads...