Long weekends were made for kicking back and taking it easy. (Sometimes they’re also for planting trees, pulling weeds and hauling mulch, but that’s neither here nor there at the moment.) There’s something incredibly relaxing about sitting down on a Sunday evening and realizing, “hey, I don’t have to set the alarm tomorrow!” As much as I love a nice, long vacation, I think that three-day weekends are just as rejuvenating. It’s the grown-up version of a snow day.
For us, long weekends also involve plenty of time with friends, which means time with food, at least in my book. But who wants to spend the entire long weekend cooped up in the kitchen, slaving away over a hot stove when it’s 90 degrees out? (Okay, maybe I do, but I’ve come to realize that I might be alone in this area…) Solution? One of my favorite summer sides. Fresh sweet corn, healthy black beans and creamy avocado, dressed with zippy lime juice and spicy peppers and living in perfect harmony. I can eat this stuff by the bowlful.
This salad’s perfect for sharing with friends (or keeping at home and hoarding the leftovers, your choice). There’s no mayo or dairy, so it handles the heat well. It’s good at room temperature (no ice or chilled dishes needed!), and it goes together in a snap. You can eat it with a fork, or scoop it up on your favorite tortilla chips. (I think it would be especially good with these, although I haven’t tried them yet.) Plus, you can add more (or less) chili pepper, depending on how hot you like things.
Corn and Black Bean Salad
2 cups of corn, cut from the cob if fresh, thawed and drained if frozen (This is one of those recipes where fresh ingredients really do make a difference, but it’s very doable and almost as good with frozen corn if you want to make this the 11 months when sweet corn’s not in season.)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 15 ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
Juice of 1 lime
1 small handful of cilantro, chopped
1/2 an avocado, diced
1 teaspoon serrano chili pepper, deseeded and minced
salt and pepper to taste
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown spots develop. Remove from heat and place in a large bowl. Add the black beans and pepper, stir to combine. Mix in the lime juice, and then the cilantro. Gently fold in the avocado (too much mixing smashes it!). Season to taste with salt and fresh cracked pepper. Serve immediately.
Note: I usually double this recipe so I don’t end up with a lonely avocado half in the fridge. Which usually means there’s enough left to take to work for lunch the next day. And if I’m feeling generous, I share the leftovers with Andy. Lucky guy. 🙂
From Everyday Food