Friday evening meals at our house are usually of the uncomposed variety. Especially in the summer and even more so when the weather is hot and we’re extra tired from a long day of work. There’s lots of languishing and laughter and lots of good food. Sometimes there’s a spicy, dry Hungarian sausage present from a local artisanal sausage maker, often there’s an icy cold IPA on hand, and there’s always a loaf of the most delicious sourdough from the market down the road. And we always listen to records. This past Friday felt kinda jazzy, so we listened to some Roland Kirk and watched a live 1965-68 Nina Simone concert dvd from the library. We also ditched the brew in place of a fruity rum cocktail and there were some tasty organic green grapes in a bowl. And there was this salad.
Oh! This! Salad!
I can’t explain how it got to be so good. It could have been the combination of the punchy rum cocktail & hearing Nina Simone belt out “I Ain’t Got No…” & the golden hour light streaming in from our curtains. But no. While all of these things helped to make our evening meal rad, it was this salad that had me refilling my plate more than twice. Maybe four times, even. Who’s counting. Who licked their plate? I’m not telling.
So please make this salad. And use fresh corn right off the cob. Really. Don’t sub in frozen or canned or it just won’t be as magical. You can choose any colour pepper you like, but yellow is what I had on hand and I think it helped contribute to that sunny summer feeling (but red or green or orange would also be just fine too). I used herbs from my garden and I loved the sweetness of the basil and the bitterness of the thyme, but feel free to use just basil. The basil rocked here. And the dressing is key. Tangy from the limes, smoky from the paprika and the Old Bay added depth. Pure magic. Do I have you convinced?
fresh corn & black bean salad
2 cobs of corn
1/4 red onion, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1/2 cucumber, diced
handful each of fresh parsley, basil, thyme
1 can of black beans, drained & rinsed
1/3 c olive oil
juice of 2 juicy limes (should equal approx. 1/3 c)
1/2 t sugar
1/4 t hot smoked paprika
1/4 t old bay seasoning
salt & pepper to taste
Using a sharp knife, slice off the corn kernels and place them into a large bowl. Add in the diced onion, pepper, and cucumber and sprinkle in the fresh herbs. Toss in the black beans.
In a small jar, combine the remaining ingredients and shake until well blended. Pour over the salad and give everything a nice big toss. Serves many but double the recipe if you’re serving many more.