Now that the warmer weather is here I’m starting to think about what to make for patio and picnic time. This salad is super tasty, and really healthy too. For me it’s a great quick meal salad, and since it keeps in the fridge for a few days I can just dig in whenever I need a little something to eat. You can also mix and match at you see fit, for example if you don’t like peppers you can substitute a bit of jicama or apple or whatever you’d like.
If you use canned beans and corn, all you have to do is make the dressing and add in whatever veg and herbs you like – super easy! Then let it all sit for about half an hour before you dig in.
I found the recipe here, and I just downsized the amounts. I used canned corn instead of frozen because I find frozen corn a bit rubbery, and peaches and cream corn is the best. I also added some freshly chopped tomato to the top of each salad, and a bit of extra bell pepper.
Avocado makes a great addition to the top of each salad serving. Sadly, I could not find a ripe avocado in the five stores I checked. They could charge double for the ripe ones… I’d pay double for a perfectly ripe avocado – would you?
What you need for the salad:
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- I can peaches and cream corn, along with the liquid
- 1 small jalapeño pepper, de-seeded and diced (amount dependent on your heat preferences)
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
What you need for the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- zest and juice of 1 lime
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- a pinch of cayenne pepper
What you do:
- Mix up all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
- In a larger bowl, combine all the salad ingredients. Stir the dressing into the salad.
- Let the salad sit in the fridge with a cover over it for half an hour, or a few hours.
This winter I saw a few recipes that called for fresh fava beans, but I’ve never been able to find them in a store, so I chose this to be one of my experimental crops in my community garden this year. They are a bit of work to shuck and peel, but they are so tender and delicious. I think I’ll be growing them again next year to try out a few of the other recipes. This salad capitalizes on the availability of fresh vegetables in the summertime, at the peak of their flavour.
What you need:
- about a pound of fava beans in their shells
- one cob of fresh corn, cooked and the kernels cut off
- a few small cucumbers or half a large one
- 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup lightly toasted walnuts
- your favourite vinaigrette or this one:
- 1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- a little salt and pepper
- 2 – 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
What you do:
- Toast the walnuts a little and let them cool. I do this is a frying pan, tossing often and watching them carefully so they don’t burn.
- Cook the corn and let it cool. You can boil it for just a few minutes or grill it.
- While the corn and nuts are cooling down you can prepare the fava beans. Begin by boiling a large pot of water. Remove the beans from their pods, then boil for 2 & 1/2 to 3 minutes; less time for smaller beans. Drain then cool down right away in a bowl or sink full of cold water; ice water is even better.
- Now comes the labourious part – remove the skin from each bean. Make sure you’re listening to some good music and the time will pass quickly.
- Mix the vinaigrette ingredients and pour some of it over the sliced red pepper to mellow the flavour a little. Let this sit for about 20 minutes.
- Slice the cucumbers as thinly as you can, with a mandoline.
- Combine the cooled fava beans, corn, cucumbers, and the onion with its dressing. Toss lightly, then add more dressing if you think it is needed; I liked it best lightly dressed.
- Top with the toasted nuts just before serving.