Five Ingredient Feast: Corn and Black Bean Salad

All of a sudden it is September and we are back in the grind of the fall routine. This means two things: new (and often first!) kitchens are slowly but surely coming together, and farmer’s markets are booming with the late summer bounty. First instincts might suggest that the former could make it difficult to enjoy the latter. Au contraire. Fresh farmer’s market fruits and veggies are perfect for yet-to-be-fully-equipped kitchens, because they often require minimal cooking to enjoy, falling into the “assemble and eat” category.

Enter: this five ingredient spin on corn and black bean salad. The ingredient list may be short, but the result can be stretched and twisted into meals for a few days of busy unpacking and classes. Don’t have a convenient market? No fear. Tracking down frozen and canned corn is a no-brainer, which also makes it a snap to create corn-centric meals mid-January when summer produce cravings kick in.

So while summer may be winding down (not January yet!), some of my favorite summer staples are still in season: basil, corn and cherry tomatoes. When I’m lucky enough to get my hands on some crisp sweet corn and colorful cherry tomatoes, I try not to fuss with them too much—they are just so tasty without my help! This classic combination lends itself beautifully to this simple salad that requires only five ingredients. I know what you’re thinking—another corn and tomato salad? Really? Yes, it’s true. There are countless salads that celebrate the marriage of corn and tomatoes, but introducing black beans to the picture makes for a more substantial dish, which to me hints at the autumnal weather to come.

Juliana Barton is a recent graduate of the University of Virginia who is trying to squeeze all she can out of the summer harvest by incorporating corn, cherry tomatoes and basil into as many meals as possible.


Corn and Black Bean Salad
Serves 2 as is, 4-6 when combined with greens, grains, or meat.

The key to this recipe is its versatility. Just like most salads, there endless variations of this dish to fit your palate, pantry and pocketbook.

1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
7-10 basil leaves
Juice of quarter of a lemon
2 ears of fresh sweet corn (or one 15oz can of corn or approx. 1 1/2 cups of frozen corn)
1 15oz can of black beans (no salt added)
¾ cup quartered cherry tomatoes
½ medium red onion, chopped

In a small bowl, stir together olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Roughly chop or tear 5-7 basil leaves (depending on size of leaves) and add to seasoned oil mixture. Stir lemon juice into the bowl. Let this mixture sit, so the oil infuses with the lemon and basil flavors, while you prep the other ingredients.

Shuck the corn, and strip the kernels off the ears straight into a medium sized bowl using Cara and Phoebe’s fool-proof method. (If using canned corn, drain and rinse corn. For frozen, follow packaging instructions for thawing).

Drain and rinse black beans. Add to bowl with corn.

Add quartered cherry tomatoes and chopped red onion to bowl with corn and black beans. Mix thoroughly with wooden spoon.

Pour infused olive oil mixture over corn, beans, tomatoes and onion, and mix so the oil coats everything. Season to taste.

Let sit for 15-30 minutes in refrigerator so flavors can blend.

Garnish with last few basil leaves and enjoy!

Serving Suggestions
Greens. Toss with your favorite greens for a quick lunch. No need to add vinaigrette or dressing, for the infused oil mixture should coat the greens.
Grains. This salad pairs nicely with quinoa, my go-to grain. Mix together and top with crumbled feta.
Wrap it. This salad makes a yummy and crunchy addition to a chicken, avocado, and cilantro wrap.

Kick it up a notch: Add some diced jalapeños, sriracha, or cayenne pepper to taste.
Mellow it out: Swap out the red onion with scallions for a fresh, mellower flavor.
Sals-ify: Replace basil with cilantro and double tomatoes for salsa-y salad. To add heat see first variation.

Recipe Index Keywords:

Categories: Campus Cooking, Healthy Recipes, and Recipes.
Cooking Method: Make Ahead and No Cook.
Mealtime: Dinner and Lunch.
I Don't Have Any: Cooking Skill and Time.
I'm Cooking For...: Dinner Party, Easy Dinner, Myself, Picnic, and Potluck.
Type of Food: Salad, Sides, Vegetarian, and Vegetarian Main.
I Don't Eat: Any Animal Products, Dairy, Gluten, and Meat.

Originally posted on Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

One Response to “Five Ingredient Feast: Corn and Black Bean Salad”

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    March 25th, 2013

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