Black Bean Salad with Corn, Red Peppers, Avocado & Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette
This recipe was inspired by one of my readers, who sent me a fabulous Mexican Bean Salad recipe. Thank you, Ellen! It’s perfect for entertaining because it’s festive and you can make it ahead of time — in fact, you should because it gets better and better the longer it sits. I made it last weekend when we had friends over for a cookout and everyone loved it.
I’ll be honest with you, this salad involves a fair amount of chopping and fussing — nothing difficult but it does take some time to put together. I hope that won’t discourage you. It makes such a large amount, you’ll be eating it for days, and it’s substantial so you don’t need to serve much else with it. I made it with these Perfectly Grilled Chicken Breasts and roasted sweet potato wedges.
For the beans, make life easy on yourself and use canned. You could certainly buy them dried and soak them overnight but I don’t think it’s worth the time or trouble here. Just be sure to rinse and drain them well.
Since you’re saving time on the beans, definitely opt for fresh corn. Canned is awful and frozen won’t give you the crunch you need.
Fresh lime juice is also a must. If you don’t already have one, get yourself an inexpensive citrus juicer like this one…it makes life in the kitchen so much easier.
When you make this salad, you have to wait a while for the flavors to meld together. At first, it may taste a little too acidic but give it a few hours in the fridge and the sharpness will mellow out.
Mark my words, this salad will keep you coming back for seconds and thirds — it’s addictive!
Black Bean Salad with Corn, Red Peppers, Avocado and Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette
- 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- 3 ears fresh cooked corn, kernels cut off the cob
- 2 red bell peppers, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots, from one medium shallot
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 9 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, best quality such as Colavita
- 1 teaspoon lime zest (be sure to zest limes before juicing them)
- 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
- 2 Hass avocados, chopped
- Combine all ingredients except for avocados in a large bowl and mix well. Cover and chill for a few hours or overnight. Right before serving, add avocados and mix gently, being careful not to mash avocados. Garnish with a more chopped cilantro if desired. Serve at room temperature.