Sunday, August 2, 2009

Southwestern-Style Corn and Black Bean Salad with Avocados

The other day around dinner time, I was feeling noshy, but not starving. I wanted something healthy and light, but also satisfying. Well, lucky me - I just happened to have  all the fixings for an old favorite of mine on hand. I used to make a version of this salad all the time, but somewhere along the way I completely forgot about it. I'm so glad it's back in the rotation!  
Southwestern-Style Corn and Black Bean Salad with Avocados
serves 2

1 pint of grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup sweet corn, fresh or thawed from frozen (not canned, because it'll have a mushy consistency, and you want that nice crunch)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 scallions, chopped, stems and all  (red onion works really well also)
3 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Juice from 1/2 lime
1/4 tsp of hot chili oil
1/2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
2 avocados, halved 

Mix all of the ingredients, except for the avocados, in a bowl. Check for proper seasoning levels. Set aside to let the flavors come together, about 1/2 hour
Meanwhile, halve your avocados and remove the pit. Rub lime juice over the surface so they don't turn brown.
To serve, plate your avocados - one pit side up, one down - and drizzle some olive oil and lightly salt and pepper them. Put some of the salad in the indentation left by the pit, and arrange the rest of the salad on the plate. 

Oooh, pretty.  This dish tastes great with a light rose or crisp summer beer.  (But then, what doesn't?)

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