Fresh Corn and Black Bean Salad

4 ears corn
1/4 cup water
1 lb small zucchini
1/2 cup chopped red bell peper
1 or 2 jalapeño pepper, minced
1/3 cup finely chopped green onions
2 Tbsp chopped green chilies
(1) 15-oz can black beans, drained & rinsed (optional)
1/4 cup lime juice
2 Tbsp Vera Jane’s Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
Few pinches of Cayenne pepper, if desired
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
Belgian endive (optional)
Sprigs of cilantro for garnish
2 ripe Hass avocados, diced (optional)
Juice of 1/2 lime (optional)

Cut corn from cob and combine with water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer until cooked (6 to 8 minutes) but still crunchy. Drain, quickly chill in ice water, drain again, and set aside in a medium bowl.

Quarter zucchini and cut into 1/4-inch slices. Add zucchini, peppers, onions, chilies, and black beans to the corn. Toss gently to combine.

Mix lime juice, oil, cilantro, pepper, and salt. Pour over vegetables; toss gently. Serve, or cover and refrigerate up to 8 hours.

If using as an appetizer, fill the endive shells and arrange on a platter on a bed of fresh cilantro.

Optional: In a separate bowl, gently toss the avocados, lime juice and salt and pepper to taste.   Fold avocado pieces into the salad carefully without breaking up the avocados.

SERVINGS: Serves 8
24 appetizer portions


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