Black Bean, Corn, and Tomato Salad

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.

Bursting with colors and flavors, fresh and bright, there are so many ways to eat this salad. Or just heap a bowl full and enjoy topped with diced avocado–no need to share! The crunch of fresh corn with lime and chili is the treat of summer.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups frozen corn (yellow or white) or fresh corn kernels from 2 to 3 ears of corn
  • 1 16 oz can black beans rinsed well in cold water and drained or 11/2 cups cooked black beans
  • 11/2 cups grape tomatoes halved vertically
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 seeded and minced jalapeno, serrano, or long hot pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6-8 grinds of black pepper or 1/4 teaspoon
  • pinch of red chili powder (optional) or use chili lime salt
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice or to taste (we like a lot!)
  • zest of one lime


  1. Heat oil in a pan. Grind the pepper into the hot oil and stir.
  2. Add the corn on a medium flame and cover the pan. Cook till the corn is just crispy tender and not raw tasting. This takes 5-7 minutes and frozen corn takes longer for the water to evaporate. Add half a teaspoon of salt. The take it out in a bowl to cool.
  3. 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!
  4. Add them to the corn. Add the drained black beans. Toss everything till well mixed. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Eat right away or better still, chill for a few hours or overnight.

Serves 6 as an appetizer or side dish. Preparation and cooking time: 15-20 minutes.

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