Mexican Black Bean, Tomato and Corn Salsa – a wonderfully fresh and scrumptious mix of flavors that can be served as a dip or in one-bite servings.
I’m always looking for fun, new dishes to prepare that utilize local fresh produce. Here in Denver, at our summer farmers’ markets I find lots of juicy tomatoes, sweet corn (from Olathe, CO), jalapeno peppers, all kinds of onions, and flavorful cilantro. One evening, I was preparing a Mexican dinner and wanted a different side dish besides the normal rice and beans. With all of these fresh ingredients at hand, I decided to create a sort of salsa-inspired salad. I chopped them all up, added some black beans, avocado and cheese, and tossed it all together with a Dijon-lime vinaigrette. Robert and our other friends loved it!
I tweaked the recipe a few more times; then, in 2015 I submitted it to independent recipe testers who worked with me on my second cookbook, Fresh Tastes. The testers felt that the combination of ingredients worked best as a salsa-style dip, rather than a side dish – mainly because they loved the addition of salty corn tortilla chips.
If possible, I try to serve most of my appetizers in one or two bite servings, rather than just as a dip, so I came up with the idea of spooning this salsa into small crispy tortilla bowls (Tostitos Scoops). This method allows you to pass them as well. They were gobbled up at my next party! Unfortunately, we didn’t have this recipe finalized in time to include it in Fresh Tastes – but I’m happy to share it here.
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- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar, or more to taste
- 1 can (15 ounce) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 5 to 6 large fresh plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped into small pieces
- 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and chopped into small pieces
- 2/3 cup corn kernels, fresh (or thawed and dried frozen)
- 1/2 cup chopped green onion, white, light green and part of the dark green parts
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh jalapeno pepper, seeds removed (unless you like it hot!)
- 1/3 cup crumbled Cotija or Queso Fresco cheese (can substitute a mild feta), optional
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro or flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
- tortilla chips or small crispy corn tortilla bowls (I like Tostitos brand Scoops)
- In a jar with a fitted lid, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, mustard, garlic, cumin, cayenne pepper and sugar. Taste and add additional sugar as needed.
- Cover and set aside for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss together the black beans, tomatoes, avocado, corn, green onion, red onion, jalapeno pepper and cilantro.
- Pour dressing over vegetables and toss again. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Place in a bowl and surround with tortilla chips. Or, spoon into corn tortilla shells, place on a platter and serve.
Make ahead: dressing can be made up to 3 days ahead, covered and refrigerated. Salad ingredients (other than avocado) can be mixed but not tossed with the dressing earlier in the day and stored, covered, in the refrigerator. Chop avocado, add to salad and toss with dressing just before serving.
- Category: quick and easy
- Method: No bake
- Cuisine: Tex Mex