Black Bean and Grilled Corn Salad with a Southwestern Flair
Hot and steamy weather calls for a cool, bright, and fresh salad. This Southwestern inspired black bean and roasted corn salad with lime and cilantro was the perfect meal to cool me off and fill me up.
The Southwest is scorching, as is most of the country right now. Chicago has been blanketed with hot and humid weather and it's almost too hot to eat; it takes too much energy. I’d rather drink water and nibble on popsicles instead of eating a heavy meal. So when my husband offered to make this black bean, corn, tomato, and pepper salad dressed with tangy lime, I enthusiastically said yes.
This girl wasn’t about to turn down one of my favorite dishes, especially since I didn’t have to make it.
There are so many flavors going on in this dish and they go together beautifully. There’s the bright and tangy taste of lime, earthy and moody cumin, fresh and curious cilantro, spicy poblano pepper, and sweet corn and bell pepper.
Not only will you get a mouthful of flavors, you’ll also get several textures in this bean and corn salad. The black beans are cooked until they’re firm, yet creamy. The raw bell pepper and onion adds a nice crunch, the corn is chewy, and the tomatoes are crisp and juicy. One bite will wake up your taste buds and have them asking for more.
This spicy black bean and grilled corn salad can be eaten as a meal; it has plenty of protein and it’s filling if you pile it up on your plate. You can also serve it as a dip, a side salad, or put it in tacos or burritos.
Now that I’ve shared this Southwestern black bean and corn salad recipe with you, I’m going to put some in a bowl with a few corn chips, go outside and find some shade, and enjoy the heat.
Notes on the Beans: Don’t overcook the beans. They should be soft and creamy on the inside but nice and firm on the outside. Start testing them after ten minutes to make sure you don’t boil them too long.
Notes on the Corn: You can grill the corn in or out of the husks. If you grill them in the husks soak them in a pot of water for about thirty minutes before grilling so the husks don’t burn up and the water creates steam to cook the corn.
Notes on the Spices: This recipe isn’t too spicy, to me anyway. If you’re sensitive to spicy food then add a small amount of the chipotle powder to the beans and then taste them. You can always add more, but you can’t take it out once it’s there.
Notes on the Limes: The acid from the limes will help to finish the cooking process of the beans and vegetables so it's important to squeeze the juice of the first lime into the mixture while it's hot. The second lime goes in once the salad is cool.
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Southwestern Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salad
- 1 skillet
- 1 stove or grill
- 32 ounce black beans, drained and rinsed well
- 1 tablespoon sea salt, divided
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon chipotle pepper
- 2 ears of corn – leave in husks and soak in water for thirty minutes before grilling or remove the husks and brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- 1 large Vidalia or sweet white onion sliced into ½ inch thick slices
- 2 poblano peppers
- 1 orange bell pepper chopped
- 1 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
- 2 large colorful heirloom tomatoes seeded and diced
- Juice from 2 large limes
- Cover the beans in water in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and add one tablespoon of salt, the cumin, and the chipotle pepper. Cook for 15 minutes then drain the beans in a colander and place in a large bowl. NOTE: much of the salt and spices will drain with the water so don’t be afraid to add the full amount.
- NOTE: Prepare the corn and onions before grilling so you can grill the corn, onion, and poblano peppers while the beans are cooking.
- Grill the corn. If you soaked the corn in the husks grill for approximately 15 minutes. Turn frequently. If the husks are removed then brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and grill for approximately 10 minutes and turn frequently. Let cool until you can safely remove the husks and cut the corn off of the cobs. NOTE: Cut the corn off of the cobs over the bowl with the beans so you don’t lose any of the kernels.
- Brush the onion slices with a light coat of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and grill for approximately 4 minutes per side or until they show grill marks. You don’t want to cook them until they’re soft, they should maintain their crispness. Dice them and put them in the bowl with the beans.
- Grill the poblano peppers about 4 minutes per side or until the skins begin to blacken and blister. When cool enough to handle scrape the skin off, seed, and dice. Put them in the bowl with the beans.
- Seed and dice the bell pepper and put them in the bowl with the beans.
- Squeeze the juice of one of the limes over the bean and vegetable mixture while it’s hot and sprinkle 2 tsps (5 g) of salt (or to taste) and toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes to cool.
- NOTE: The acid in the lime juice will continue the cooking process of the beans and vegetable s so make sure you add the juice of the lime at this step.
- Remove the salad from the refrigerator and add the cilantro and tomatoes and the juice of the second lime. Toss to combine.