Black Bean, Corn, Tomato Salad (VG, GF)
Serves 6 as an appetizer or side dish. Preparation and cooking time: 15-20 minutes.

This is born from the necessity of having to come up with quick, colorful meals with what is in the fridge and pantry. We now make it regularly and guests enjoy it enough to ask for the recipe. It is colorful and delicious with tortilla or pita chips. As a side dish, it goes well with puff pastry stuffed with sauted rosemary mushrooms, with veggie masala burger patties, or with Indian-style stir-fried lemon rice and raita.

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup frozen corn (yellow or white) or fresh corn kernels from one ear of corn
  • 1 16 oz can black beans rinsed well in cold water and drained
  • 1 large tomato diced small which is about 1 cup (use the juice and seeds!)
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 seeded and finely chopped jalapeno or long hot pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6-8 grinds of black pepper or 1/4 teaspoon
  • pinch of chili powder (optional)
  • 1 lime
  • zest of one lime
Steps
  1. Heat oil in a pan. Grind the pepper into the hot oil and stir.
  2. Add the corn on a medium flame till it starts caramelizing with brown stuff forming on the bottom of the pan. This takes 5-10 minutes. Add half a teaspoon of salt. Cover the pan to speed the process but keep checking and stirring to make sure the corn cooks evenly and does not burn.
  3. Add the drained black beans and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Cool it for a few minutes.
  4. In the meantime, chop the tomatoes and coriander. Toss them with the hot pepper, chili powder, remaining half teaspoon of salt, and grate the zest from the lime into the bowl. Squeeze all the juice you can from the lime, turn the lime halves inside out and squeeze more!
  5. Add the cooled corn and beans. Taste and adjust seasoning. The salad can be eaten right away, but the flavors do improve with time. You can make it ahead and chill in the fridge. It can be made a day ahead.