This delicious summery salad is adapted from one by the California Avocado marketing board, but apart from the avocado and the lime juice, it contains mostly things that are local to here right now. If you want to cook the beans from scratch, I always think 2/3 to 3/4 of a cup of dry beans are the equivalent of a can of beans. At this time of year, though, I am inclined to ignore all the jars of dried beans in the basement and just buy a can. It’s far too hot to be boiling beans for hours.
I would have been tempted to put another avocado in – I love avocados – but there were only 2 in the bin when I was shopping, and the other one was hard as a brick. Oh well; I was lucky to find one ripe enough to use right away. They are generally better bought a couple of days in advance but I have trouble being that organized. One was fine, and it’s a salad after all; the exact proportions of things to each other can vary according to how much you like or have of each.
I used some Aleppo pepper for my hot chile powder, mostly because I still have well over a cup of the stuff in the cupboard from growing it a few years back, but something more Mexican would be entirely appropriate, if you have it.
As ever, the 2 of us ate it all and called it dinner, but if you were serving it with other things it would go further.
2 to 6 servings
30 minutes prep time
Make the Dressing:
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon (or to taste) hot red chile powder
the juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup olive oil
Grind the cumin seeds and mix them with the remaining spices in a small bowl or jam jar. Add the lime juice and olive oil, and stir or shake well.
Make the Salad:
2 cobs of corn
1 large tomato
1 540 ml (19 ounce) can black beans
1 small banana pepper OR 1/4 bell pepper
1 medium-small sweet onion
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 large ripe avocado OR 2 medium avocados
Put a large pot of water on to boil the corn. Husk the corn and boil for 5 to 8 minutes, until done to your liking. Plunge the cobs into cold water and let them cool. While the corn is cooking, drop the tomato into the boiling water for 1 minute. Rinse it in cold water and peel it and chop it.
Cut the corn from the cold cobs and put it in a salad bowl with the chopped tomato. Drain and rinse the beans, and add them. Wash, trim and chop the pepper fairly finely. Peel and chop the onion, also fairly finely. Wash, dry, and mince the cilantro. Add these to the salad along with the dressing and toss together.
Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. I find it easiest to use a large, flattish, and rather thin spoon to cut and remove small slices from the halves, but it could be peeled and chopped fairly coarsely. Sprinkle the avocado pieces over the salad and toss it very gently to incorporate them. I add them last to avoid smooshing them too much.
Last year at this time I made Cherry Tomato & Shallot Clafoutis.