Saturday, January 21, 2012

Southwestern Corn Salad

At every stage of life there is someone one step ahead of you (or in my case, a lot of someones). When we were dating, it seemed like all our friends were engaged. When we were engaged, everyone was getting married. The hardest was after we were married, and everyone was getting pregnant - not an easy stage for me.

A lot of our friends are young marrieds, and I've had several tell me they wished they could cook better. I do wonder if that's a stage, too. That eventually we'll all be able to make meals we are pretty proud of and maybe it's just a young person thing that keeps my friends from wanting to make a "real" meal when people come over. Maybe for once I'm the one who's ahead of the curve. I don't know. All I know is that it was at the urging of these friends of mine that I started this blog - and I hope maybe it can help out some young marrieds who want to learn more about bringing yummy homemade food to the table.

This salad is something I "invented" with inspiration from 2 recipes: one by Rachael Ray and one by my dad. It's really best in the summer, when everything is super-fresh, but it's good anytime of year.

Southwestern Corn Salad

~2 cans sweet white corn, drained (although this time I used one white and one yellow)
~1 can black beans, rinsed
~1 large tomato
~1 red bell pepper
~1 small onion
~1 English cucumber, peeled
~about 1/2 a bunch of fresh cilantro
~1 avocado, chopped
~4 limes
~1 tablespoon of hot sauce
~Salt and pepper
~½ cup of olive oil

Zest 2 limes into a medium bowl. Squeeze the juice of all 4 limes into the bowl. (You can microwave the limes for about 10 seconds to break the fibers and produce more juice. Or you can vigorously roll them on the counter.) Add the hot sauce and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste (about a teaspoon of each). Whisk all ingredients together.

Add corn and black beans to bowl. Chop tomato, red pepper, onion, and cucumber into approx. ½ inch pieces and add to bowl. Roughly chop the cilantro and add it to the bowl. Stir all ingredients together making sure it is evenly coated.

Gently stir in the avocado. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.

You can play around with the ingredients. I had some alfalfa sprouts on hand so I tossed some in. If you don't like cilantro, use fresh basil. If you don't have a cucumber, try a zucchini.

If you want to make it ahead: Making it ahead of time is fine, but hold off on adding the tomato and avocado until right before you serve it. Otherwise, the tomato will get too juicy and the avocado will brown. Avocados still taste fine if they are a little brown, but they don’t look very appetizing



  1. Ummm . . . add two whole ripe mangos, diced.

    1. Yes, I have done something similar with mangoes before! But not everyone in my family loves them, so we skipped it this time. :-)