What is it about a black bean salad that practically shouts, “summer potluck”? The mercury has been edging past a hundred degrees lately here and I’ve been getting nostalgic for some of the picnic foods I remember having often as a kid. The basic structure of a black bean salad is black beans (canned or freshly made) with corn kernels (canned, frozen, or fresh). Parsley, basil or cilantro can add a bitter to the flavors. Tomatoes, lemon juice and or lime juice some acid. Jalapeno or cumin will give it a kick, and avocado and olive oil will smooth it down. I find adding a little bit of sugar almost always helps balance the acid from the citrus and tomatoes, and makes for a better tasting salad.
Obviously, this salad will be extra good if you have freshly cooked corn and beans on hand. But if you don’t, just use the canned beans and frozen corn (we used white corn here).
Make sure to rinse and drain the beans, if you are using canned beans.
- 1 (15 ounce) can of black beans, thoroughly rinsed, and drained (or 1 1/2 cup of freshly cooked black beans)
- 1 1/2 cups frozen corn, defrosted (or fresh corn, parboiled, drained and cooled)
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions or shallots
- 2 fresh jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced, or 1 whole pickled jalapeño pepper, minced (not seeded)
- 3 fresh plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
- 2 Tbsp lime juice (about the amount of juice from one lime)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of sugar (to taste)
- Salt and pepper to taste
1 In a large bowl, combine the beans, corn, onions, jalapeno chile peppers, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, basil, lime juice and olive oil.
2 Add sugar and salt and pepper to taste. (The sugar will help balance the acidity from the tomatoes and lime juice.) Chill before serving.