This is basically a bunch of my favorite things all mixed together in a bowl. It also happens to be completely delicious and super easy to make. There is a tiny amount of cooking in this recipe so if it’s just way too hot to turn on your stove or oven I highly recommend using the grill outside if you have one. I mean, it’s already hot out there, right?
About the Beans
I always recommend cooking your own beans rather than buying them canned. This may seem like a lot of extra work but if you do it in advance and then save them in the freezer, you don’t have to take up all that space in the pantry with cans AND it’s a quarter of the price AND you are reducing waste by not throwing away the cans. You can even go one step further and buy your beans in the bulk section at the market in a reusable bag and really be a champ! Dried beans are much more feasible for me since I found this great work around on Bon Appetit that gives me another option if I just don’t have time to soak and then slow cook my beans. I just put them in a pot of water and boil them hard until they are cooked to my liking. I do this a lot because they cook up in about an hour (or less if they are small, tender beans) and I can do small batches that are perfect for just one recipe rather than cooking a whole bunch and then storing them. If you put them on to boil first, they will most likely be done or close to done by the time you are done chopping and prepping the rest of the ingredients.
The jalapenos are totally optional in this recipe as is roasting them. I just really like the roasted flavor and it gives the salad some depth since most of the other ingredients are raw.
After this salad is all mixed up it’s like a bowl of delicious, southwestern confetti! It’s as delicious as it is colorful and beautiful and it really is very easy, even when you boil the beans from scratch. Go ahead and give it a try!
- 2 cups or 1 can of cooked black beans
- 2 ears of corn
- 2 small jalapenos
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 ½ cups of chopped, ripe tomatoes
- 1 avocado, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1/8 of a wheel of Cotija cheese, grated
- ½ cup chopped red onion (half of a small red onion)
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
- Peel off any husk that might be on the corn cobs and leave the nubby stalk on the cob, you’re going to use this to hold on to when you’re cutting the kernels off later.
- Put the corn and jalapenos, if you’re using them, on a baking sheet and roast them in the oven for 10-15 minutes, rotating them so that they get a little color on each side.
- Take the corn out, it will be done sooner, and leave the jalapenos in the oven a bit longer so that the peel gets well charred on all sides.
- Get a clean, small bowl and put the top of the corn in the bottom of the bowl and hold the cob by the stalk and cut down the length of the stalk, shaving all the kernels off into the bowl.
- When the jalapenos are done, pull them out of the oven and put them into a heat proof bowl with a cover so they can steam.
- Put the black beans, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, Cotija cheese, and red onion into a bowl with the corn kernels.
- In a small bowl mix the olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, and salt. Add fresh cracked pepper to your taste. Pour the dressing over the bowl of beans and veggies.
- If using jalapenos, peel the skins off and chop them up and add them to the bowl of veggies.
- Toss everything to combine and adjust salt to your taste. The Cotija cheese is pretty salty so you shouldn’t need too much.