There are many states across this nation that can pride themselves in great produce. Georgia has its peaches, Florida has its oranges, Washington has apples, Iowa owns corn and so on. Without a doubt, California’s share of the corn production pales in comparison to Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska Minneasota, etc., but the pickings are still good. Corn is one of our favorite summer staples. So far this summer, we’ve eaten a good amount, sharing with you our grilled version and even a nice purée. The prime months are June and July, but the stock of produce will continue to flourish into October, so we know there are several more weeks of good eats in store. With a fresh salad in mind, we grabbed a few more ears and got ready to enjoy.
When the pickings are good, you can’t help but take full advantage of what’s in store. We are still riding the high of delicious summer veggies. We made this salad a few weeks ago for a friend’s housewarming party. It definitely has great ‘make ahead’ potential. Roast the corn early or the night before, so it has time to cool completely. But, if you’re in a pinch for time, there’s no reason why you can’t toss the warm kernels in with everything else. Here’s one for Deb’s Soup, Salad and Sandwich Sunday round up!
Honey Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salad – Serves 6 to 8
6 ears of corn, with husk
15 ounces black beans, drained
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
2 vine tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
2 Persian cucumbers, deseeded and chopped*
1/2 large red onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Juice and zest of 2 limes
1 serrano pepper, minced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup crema mexicana
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1. Soak corn in a large pot or pan of water for 15-20 minutes. As corn finishes soaking, mix butter, cinnamon and honey well with a fork.
2. Remove corn, drying lightly with a paper towel. Peel back husks, remove silk and brush corn with butter mixture. Pull husks back up, then wrap each ear with aluminum foil.
3. Set corn on the top rack of a preheated oven set to 375 degrees. Roast for 25-30 minutes. Cool completely.
4. As corn cools, mix beans, bell pepper, tomato, cucumber, cilantro and onion in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the juice of one lime and toss well. Cover and place in the fridge.
5. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the crema mexicana, cumin, remaining lime juice and zest, garlic and serrano pepper. Salt to taste. Set in fridge to chill.
6. Once corn as cooled completely, cut the kernels off each cob. Add to previously mixed veggies and mix well. Pour crema mexicana mixture over the salad and toss to combine.
*Update 8/27/09: Someone asked a good question about Persian cucumbers, so we should share this information with everyone. You’ll know you have a Persian cucumber first off by its size. They are much smaller than the American cucumber you are used to seeing in the store. They also have a smooth, nonwaxy skin. We love Persian cukes because they have less seeds than the usual variety, the flavor is mild and delicate, and your body can easily digest the skin. Most people are unaware that our bodies have a harder time processing the waxy skin on our everyday cucumbers. Many markets, especially those with international produce sections, do carry the Persian variety, so all you have to do is ask. And if they don’t have them, try an English or Japanese variety. If that is not an option, just peel the skin off the American version, deseed and dice away.
Click HERE for the printable recipe.
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