This being mid-Dog Days of summer time, recipes that are easy and involve salads are high on my favorites list. This recipe for a Southwestern-style salad requires very little cooking (if you use canned black beans instead of dried ones). And the flavors are a nice variation on the standard chopped salads, with avocado, black beans, corn, tomatoes, and goat cheese.
Assemble the ingredients: about 3-4 cups of chopped greens (romaine, butter lettuce, etc.); 1 cup of black beans (cooked); 1 cups of corn kernels (also cooked); 1 cup of halved cherry tomatoes; 1 avocado, sliced; 1/4 cup of crumbled goat cheese; and the salad dressing of your choice (I used a creamy avocado dressing).
You have a choice of canned or dried black beans, and obviously using dried will add to the cooking time. I’d made black beans the day before, so they were already on hand. (I soak them in either veggie broth or water with about 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin stirred in to add a bit of flavor — see the Stuffed Pepper recipe for more details.) If using canned, simply drain and rinse the beans.
Make about 1 cup of corn kernels, again either by using frozen or fresh, and let cool to room temperature. (I sautéed 1/2 teaspoon of Whole Foods’ Caribbean blackening spices in 1 teaspoon of olive oil, then added the corn, a dash of salt, and about 1/4 cup of water, and steamed the corn for 10 minutes.)
Wash and cut the top of the avocado off at the them. Halve the avocado, then remove the seed. Cut each half into half again, then strip away the peel and cut into slices.
Assemble the salad by lining a large salad bowl with the greens of your choice, then adding the avocado slices, corn, beans, and tomatoes. For a nice presentation, cluster each item around the top. Then crumble the goat cheese over the top. (My efforts weren’t super-photogenic, but you get the idea!).
When ready to serve, add the salad dressing and toss. This is a great side dish that pairs well with grilled fish or burgers. And it’s actually substantial enough to be a main dish when served at lunchtime.
No wine pairing with this tonight — too hot!