Like many other parts of the country, this summer has been hot. From Facebook status updates to blog posts, I’ve been reminded almost daily how people simply don’t like to cook when it’s hot. It makes sense since an oven can heat up a house pretty quickly, especially if a/c isn’t your thing, and because some people lose their appetite in the heat. Well, neither of those things are really me.
I definitely like to eat at all times [and so does Ben], and I’m just not a “windows open” kinda girl [Ben is... a "windows open" kinda guy--not girl]. Maybe that will change one day when we move from an apartment to a house [started typing "hotel" there... uhh, that's not in the plans, though my family did once live in a hotel for two weeks in between selling our old house and buying the new one... I was 8 and had fun]… since apartments have apartment size electricity bills and houses have house sized bills. But for now, I will luxuriate in our air conditioned apartment and use the oven whenever I please.
That does NOT mean though that I can’t enjoy cold dishes like this Corn and Black Bean Salad for a light meal or hearty side dish. No siree. I know that there are many version of such dishes, and this is one that my mom recently introduced me to that I have fallen in love with. The simple dressing of oil and vinegar spiked with lime and paprika really makes the dish, since the tang is the perfect pairing for the sweetness of the corn, black beans, and peppers, as well as the spiciness of the [optional] jalapeno.
Corn and Black Bean Salad [from Coastal Living, July 2005]
click to print
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 15 ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups frozen whole corn, thawed
- 1 large red or orange bell pepper, chopped
- 2 small jalapeno peppers, minced and deseeded [optional]
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, and paprika in a large bowl. Add beans, corn, and peppers; toss well to coat. Finally, add cilantro and pepper and gently mix to incorporate.
Time: 10 minutes.
Yield: 6 cups.