This Charred Corn and Black Bean Salad is a fresh and vibrant side dish. I love to eat colourful food and the colours in this salad are amazing. I believe in the notion that we “eat with our eyes first”, finding that if the food looks good it is much more appetising. However, this is not just a salad which relies on its good looks to get by – it has substance.
It is full of flavour and the variety of colourful ingredients provides a range of valuable nutrients.
This salad is definitely not boring and bland. It is bursting with the slightly smoky flavour of the char-grilled corn, the sweetness of the red capsicum, the earthiness of the black beans and the nutty, creaminess of the avocado. The coriander adds a citrusy note and the lime juice in the dressing brightens all the flavours.
I love to make this Charred Corn and Black Bean Salad when I’m entertaining; its range of colours means that it looks great on the table.
I prepare most of the salad in advance. In fact, the flavours meld together beautifully if they have a little time to stand. I do, however, hold the avocado back so that I can add it at the last minute, thus maintaining its fresh appearance.
It’s a very easily prepared and tasty salad.
I especially love the flavour of the lightly charred corn. I generally prefer to char the corn on the barbecue. However, today I have charred the corn indoors. It is 40C/104F in Adelaide today and the notion of standing over a hot barbecue just doesn’t appeal! But, if you have a barbecue, and the weather is kind where you are, it would be lovely cooked on the grill.
After char-grilling the corn, I remove the kernels and add them to a bowl.
I then add black beans, cubed avocado, diced onion and red capsicum. I toss the ingredients with chopped coriander and a bright, zingy dressing made from olive oil, lime juice and a touch of maple syrup. Salt and pepper help to bring out the full flavours.
My Charred Corn and Black Bean Salad is a very healthy dish which contains a myriad of valuable, health-benefiting nutrients.
Black beans, which are legumes, are like other members of their family in that they are a valuable source of low-fat protein and dietary fibre. They are nutrient dense, containing several key vitamins and minerals that are known to be beneficial to health. There seems to be an ever-growing list of health benefits attributed to black beans so I like to always have some on hand. Additionally, they are a cheaper form of protein than poultry, fish and red meats.
Red onions contain Vitamin C, dietary fibre, health benefitting sulphuric compounds and generous quantities of antioxidants.
Sweetcorn is an excellent source of dietary fibre, has a generous amount of folic acid, contains Vitamin C and other nutrients. A tip to remember when buying corn is that it starts to convert its sugars to starches immediately after harvesting. Therefore, ideally, you want to buy it and eat it as fresh as possible.
Red capscium contains Vitamins A, C, E, B6, folate and dietary fibre.
Avocado is rich in healthy fats, dietary fibre, B Vitamins, a range of minerals, antioxidants along with Vitamins C, E and K. They are truly a nutrient powerhouse.
Coriander, also known as cilantro, is a good source of dietary fibre, Vitamins A, C, E and K, a number of minerals and contains strong antioxidant properties.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a very healthy fat. It has generous quantities of fatty acids and antioxidants which have some powerful health benefits, such as a reduced risk of heart disease.
The nutritional benefits of my Charred Corn and Black Bean Salad make it a dish which I like to make regularly.
It is a vibrant and fresh side dish which pairs well with many main courses. It is, however, sufficiently substantial to enjoy as a meat-free meal.
I’m grateful today that I have some leftovers.
Tomorrow I’m going to sandwich some of the salad with freshly grated mozzarella cheese in between two corn tortillas. I’ll put them in my sandwich press to make a delicious quesadilla. Or, if the mood takes me, I’ll put some of the salad in an omelette. Choices, choices!
How I love to have leftovers.
Please let me know in the comments below if you try my Charred Corn and Black Bean Salad. It is delicious served with my Tuna Patties!
P.S. For more great salad ideas, I recommend you check out the following recipes:
- Thai Inspired Prawn Salad
- Roasted Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad
- Pumpkin, Cranberry and Almond Salad
- Sweet and Sour Carrot Salad
- Potato Salad with Peas and Mint
- Mushroom San Choy Bow
- Broccoli Stem and Carrot Slaw
Charred Corn and Black Bean Salad
- 2 large cobs of corn
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 420 g black beans I used a can – rinse and drain beans
- 1 large avocado peeled, stone removed and cubed
- 1 medium red onion peeled and diced
- 1 red capsicum/bell pepper core removed and diced
- 1/2 cup fresh coriander/cilantro chopped, stems included – set aside a few leaves for garnish
- 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice *
- 1 tsp maple syrup *
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Remove and discard the husk from each corn cob. Thoroughly remove the silk. Brush or spray the cobs with olive oil.
- Grill the cobs of corn, either on a char-grill pan, under a broiler or on a barbecue until the edges of the kernels are slightly charred, about 10-15 minutes.Remove the corn from the grill and set aside until cool.
- Remove the kernels from the cobs. I find the easiest way is to place a small bowl upside down inside a large bowl. Stand the cob on its flat end on the small bowl and, using a sharp knife, slice down the cob.
- The kernels will fall into the large bowl. Remove the small bowl.
- Add the black beans, cubed avocado, diced onion and capsicum along with the chopped coriander to the corn. Remember to reserve a few coriander leaves for garnish.
- To make the dressing:
In a small bowl combine the extra virgin olive oil, freshly squeezed lime juice, maple syrup, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.Check that the dressing is to your taste. It should be bright with the zing of lime, but not so sharp as to be unpleasant. Add a dash more maple syrup if necessary.
- Add the dressing to the corn mixture, toss gently to combine the ingredients and turn into a serving bowl. Add the reserved coriander leaves to garnish.
*Prior to cutting the lime, roll it on a hard counter. It will soften the flesh and make it easier to extract the juice.
*When purchasing limes, don’t reject those with a touch of yellow. They are not past their prime. They do, in fact, become yellow as they ripen. I prefer to use them this way; a riper lime is juicier, sweeter and less acidic than an under-ripe one.
*To keep the recipe vegan, I have used maple syrup. You could use honey if you prefer.