Thursday, February 04, 2010

More Black Beans

So you get a phone call from a friend who is looking for a dish for a luncheon and it has to be something that a non-cook can make. It would be nice if it is also vegan and not too expensive. Even better would be something that doesn’t need to be re-heated or even refrigerated. Oh, yes, can it also be delicious?

If you get that kind of phone call I have just the thing for you. We served it to our scholarship group yesterday and it was a hit! We had a four person committee and three of them were non-cooks, but they did a great job with this salad. Parkay made a great chairwoman! We served it on lettuce leaves accompanied by a gorgeous big strawberry that had been fanned out, plus fresh blueberries and some bakery rolls. Delish!

Black beans and corn work together here to make a complete protein, plus they taste great together and look colorful, too. Add tomatoes, red pepper and Italian parsley (the flat leaf kind), plus some red onion and you have a very jazzy looking salad. A red wine and olive oil based dressing ties it all together and a hint of cayenne makes it sing. Since it uses frozen corn and canned beans and tomatoes, the only cooking is some chopping of peppers, onions and parsley.

Even if you are a proficient cook, this is a great meal to have in your repertoire, especially if you keep some of the ingredients on hand. You can pull it together at a moment’s notice when you have unexpected guests or are just too tired to do ‘real’ cooking. Just remember, the best reason to make this salad is that it tastes great!

Black Bean, Corn and Tomato Salad

1 (16 oz.) bag frozen corn, thawed
½ - 1 cup fresh tomatoes, diced, plus any juices that collect (you can remove the skin and seeds or not, as you prefer) OR 1 (14 to 15 oz ) can diced tomatoes and their juice
½ cup red pepper, cored and diced
½ medium red onion, diced
½ cup fresh parsley, finely minced – flat leaf gives a stronger flavor than curly leaf
1 14 to 15 oz ) can black beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
(OR ½ cup red wine vinegar and NO balsamic vinegar)
½ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (or more to taste)

Place thawed corn, tomatoes, diced pepper, red onion, parsley and beans into a bowl.

Shake the dressing ingredients together in a small jar with tightly fitting lid. Pour dressing over salad and stir to mix ingredients thoroughly.

Cover salad and chill for at least an hour and up to 12 hours until thoroughly chilled.

Serves 6-8.

Note: Sometimes you can find frozen corn that has red pepper bits already in it. If you do, you can skip dicing the fresh red pepper…just use the frozen corn with red peppers.


  1. YUM. Did you use canned tomatoes in yours? They look fresh. I'd be scared to use "tinned" tomatoes; here everything that comes in a can is cooked to death, in the time-honored, "tinned" way. This is one of my favorite ways to use black beans, except I use cilantro, and have never made a dressing - I just used the juices of the veg with some onion powder and added a spritz of oil.

  2. Tanita, Yes, they are fresh, but I have made it with canned, too. S&W makes 'Ready-Cut' tomatoes that are not over-processed.I like this salad with cilantro, too. Try it with the cilantro and the dressing...the cayenne adds just the right note.

  3. Nice and easy recipe. :)