the magic salad: fresh corn & black bean salad

golden hour dinner

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.

the magic salad

Oh! This! Salad!

magic meal

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.

another serving please

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?


34 comments to “the magic salad: fresh corn & black bean salad”

  1. 1
    redmenace   July 27, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Colorful. Gorgeous. Fresh. Delicious. I love a good corn salad. And, of course, eat as many plates as you like. No one is counting!

  2. 2
    Lydia   July 27, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    What bread from what market? And ditto with the sausage…I am clueless about dry sausages.

  3. 3
    kickpleat   July 27, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    redmenace, I never count 😉

    Lydia, the very best sourdough loaf is from Benny’s Market in Strathcona on Keefer Street. They don’t bake it in-house, but it does come fresh every day (still warm!) and it’s amazing. They also have a great olive and walnut loaf too. The dry sausage place is over on Commercial between 1st & 2nd Ave – J, N & Z Deli. They have great kielbasa too.

  4. 4
    sarah   July 27, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    You’re right, it does look delicious. Fresh ingredients and especially fresh herbs make all the difference. Yum. (I had to make a quick detour before commenting to find out what Old Bay was…)

  5. 5
    Maddie   July 27, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Yes, you totally have me convinced to make this salad. But I’m not sure it’ll be the same if I don’t turn on my own record player and bask in the evening sun while I eat it. Really, I think those two steps should be part of the recipe itself!

  6. 6
    Post-College Working Girl   July 27, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    yes, I’m totally convinced! My mom just made a corn salad with radishes and kalamata olives that was to die for that I’m planning on making as well. One can never have too much corn salad…

  7. 7
    Kimberly   July 27, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    Yes you have me convinced!!! I have no idea what old bay spice is but I must make this immediately!

  8. 8
    Joanne   July 28, 2010 at 3:24 am

    I love the idea of uncomposed Fridays. And also that you said the word “rad”. That just about made my morning. I will so be making this! I’ve been craving fresh corn.

  9. 9
    em   July 28, 2010 at 5:48 am

    This looks so yummy! Do you cook the corn before cutting it off the cob?

  10. 10
    Tracy   July 28, 2010 at 6:09 am

    Oh, you had me at Old Bay 🙂

  11. 11
    Meg   July 28, 2010 at 6:41 am

    Yum! We’ve been eating a lot of corn on the cob lately and I’d been wanting a new corn recipe to change it up a bit! Looks delicious!

  12. 12
    kickpleat   July 28, 2010 at 7:38 am

    Thanks Sarah – the Old Bay has a strong celery salt flavour that works well here.

    Maddie, maybe you are completely right!

    PCWG, that sounds so good. Mmmmm.

    Kimberly, Old Bay is a mixture of a bunch of spices…celery salt is the most prominent (so you could always use that if you can’t find Old Bay).

    Haha, thanks Joanne 🙂

    Em, no the corn is raw. It’s delicious.

    Yay, thanks Tracy.

    Meg, this changes up corn on the cob, most definitely.

  13. 13
    heather @ chiknpastry   July 28, 2010 at 8:31 am

    perfect summer salad. i ate a fresh corn and tomato salad with arugula pesto last night though, and it was also somewhat life-changing. 🙂

    love the friday night record night. we do the same, as Hubs is always coming home with a new vinyl purchase!

  14. 14
    Ashley   July 28, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Yup you definitely have me convinced!!

  15. 15
    Dana   July 28, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    I would eat at least four helpings of that salad – just my type! I have some Old Bay seasoning in my spice cabinet because my husband loves it in crab cakes which I never make. It would be nice to give him a taste of that flavor! Friday nights sound pretty dreamy chez vous!

  16. 16
    G.   July 28, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    perfect salad for this warm summery night!

  17. 17
    Bijoux   July 28, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    I love Nina Simone. I used to have a CD of her greatest hits and have no idea where it disappeared to. I also have Old Bay seasoning in my spice drawer but never knew which foods called for it, so I barely use it. Thanks for enlightening me…
    I’m always on the look out for spectacular salad recipes and I think this one may be on my table soon. I have all the ingredients in stock except for the corn. Can you believe I haven’t purchased corn of the cob at all this year…

  18. 18
    enilorac   July 29, 2010 at 1:36 am

    mmmm! I love corn & bean salad. My favorite is from this kabob place where they mix up corn and reddish, hard bean (kidney bean? I need to educate myself on beans) mixed with some fresh mint and tossed in some italian-like, homemade dressing. So goood..

  19. 19
    Adriana from Baking Powders   July 29, 2010 at 4:57 am

    super yum! me and my roommate make this salad, pretty much to the T and when we are inspired we add crushed tortilla chips and rename it ‘taco salad’… super refreshing!

  20. 20
    Linda   July 29, 2010 at 6:44 am

    Lovely looking salad. I always am curious about what people use for black beans, canned or dry? I don’t have great luck with either. Canned beans often come out very split and mushy and I’ve not perfected the cooking technique for dry beans, so again they either split or aren’t quite tender enough. Any secrets for you? Or brands of canned beans you prefer? Would love your opinion on the subject!

  21. 21
    lyndsay   July 29, 2010 at 8:24 am

    zing! classic summer salad, and i love your crazy serrated knife with the handle, seems pretty perf for shaving off that delightful sweet yellow local corn!! 🙂

  22. 22
    kickpleat   July 29, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Heather, I’m all for life-changing salads! And records. Definitely records.

    I’m glad it was so easy, Ashley!

    Dana, I’ve recently become smitten with Old Bay. I think it’s the celery salt. And 4 helpings, hooray!

    Thanks G.

    Bijoux, I’m always experimenting with spices and decided to throw Old Bay here and it worked really well. As did the paprika…that was the star. And get to buying some fresh corn…mmmm.

    Enilorac, I love the sound of mint in a salad. Sounds perfect.

    Adriana, you can’t go wrong with black bean and corn! And tortilla chips sounds awesome too…and some salsa in there as well. Yum!

    Linda, I don’t really mind canned beans and I just buy whatever the store I’m shopping in has. Offhand I can’t recall the brand, but they weren’t mushy beans at all. Obviously, cooking beans from scratch is the way to go, but I don’t have much experience (or patience) in that regard.

    Hooray for zing, Lyndsay!

  23. 23
    Foodie in Berlin   July 31, 2010 at 7:40 am

    Ooooo! Yes! Yes! You really do have me convinced!

  24. 24
    Christine   August 1, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    For years, I have not liked corn, but I have finally, FINALLY come around to it after being served a roasted corn and bean salad like this one. Maybe the memories of frozen corn had been clouding my judgment, but I am happy to report that I am back on the corn bandwagon.

  25. 25
    kickpleat   August 1, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    Oh, I’m glad Foodie 🙂

    Christine, roasted is amazing and so is eating corn raw. Try this and get convinced!

  26. 26
    wendy   August 5, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    Mmmm, I love this salad! I’ve also made it with roasted corn, and it’s lovely. Try adding some diced avocado… it’s delicious 🙂

  27. 27
    kickpleat   August 5, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Wendy, if I liked avocado more, I’d consider it! I’m sure my husband would love the avocado addition.

  28. 28
    SusieQ   February 9, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Wow! I made a version of this constantly last summer, only seasoned with hefty doses of cumin and chili powder rather than paprika and old bay. It never failed to impress!

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