Here in New England, corn season lasts for six weeks, and these middle-of-March weeks are not the weeks for fresh corn. Don't let that stop you from enjoying this gorgeous vegan and gluten-free side salad. Buy frozen organic corn kernels or frozen fire-roasted corn (if you're lucky enough to have a Trader Joe's market nearby). Combine the corn with canned or cooked black beans; I'm using my new pressure cooker to make large batches of beans, so I always have some on hand. Add a squirt of lime for a bright, fresh flavor. You'll forget that it's winter. When corn season arrives, make this salad with fresh corn kernels and bell pepper from your garden, and it will be that much better. Serve it with salmon (oh, the colors!) or roast chicken.
Corn and black bean salad with sweet lime dressing
Serves 3-4; can be multiplied.
For the dressing:
1 tsp agave nectar
Juice of 1/2 lime
1-1/2 tsp canola oil (or rice bran or vegetable oil)
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper to taste
For the salad:
1 cup cooked black beans (if using canned beans, drain and rinse)
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
1 scallion, finely chopped
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking.
Add the beans to the bowl, and toss gently.
If the corn is frozen, place it in a microwave-safe bowl and cook, covered, for 1-1/2 minutes. Or, blanch quickly in a pot of boiling water. (Fresh corn kernels don't need to be cooked for this salad.)
Add the cooked corn to the beans, along with the green pepper and scallion. Toss everything together so the dressing coats all of the vegetables, but the beans don't get smashed and fall apart.
Let the salad sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, or make ahead and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Quinoa with black beans, corn and chipotle pepper, from Cookin' Canuck
Quinoa salad with black beans, corn and tomatoes, from Simply Recipes
Black bean and pepper salad with cilantro and lime, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Black bean hummus with lime and cumin, from Simple Bites
Chipotle lime tacos with corn and black bean salsa, from My Baking Addiction
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