This bean and corn salad is a spin on a recipe that we used to serve at the coffee shop where I worked in high school. I used to prepare a version of this salad by the gallon and eat a bowlful almost every time I had a shift there.
The recipe below is spun off of my memory from making huge batches of this salad. I tweaked it a bit to be a total cheater’s recipe, though. Instead of dicing tomatoes, jalapenos, and cilantro, you use prepared salsa. If you prefer homemade salsa, though, I encourage you to go for it! I have a great, basic salsa fresca recipe in my cookbook Bowls that would work beautifully in this bean and corn salad.
Prepping the Corn: 2 Ways
There are two ways to prep the corn for this salad. Your first option is to use thawed, frozen corn. That’s the route that I took. Darrol Henry loves eating frozen corn (still frozen!), so we always have a bag in the freezer. To thaw, just pour the corn into a colander, and run tap water over it until it softens. Leave it to drain while you prep everything else. You can drain the beans in the same colander, for less cleanup.
If you want to use ears of corn, you’ll just saw the kernels off of the cob. Here are some tips I’ve learned for removing corn from the cob:
- Shuck your corn.
- Hold your ear of corn upright, gripping it at the tippy top, and cut downwards along the cob.
- Work over a large bowl with high sides, or kernels will go everywhere.
- Don’t cut too close to the cob – better to lose a little of the goods than to have cob in your bean and corn salad!
There’s no need to cook the corn. Raw corn is totally edible, and this salad takes on a really nice, sweet-but-starchy dimension if you use raw corn instead of cooked. If you have the time and inclination to cut some raw corn off of the cob, I definitely recommend it!
Once you have the corn ready to rock, just drain your beans, cut your veggies, and toss everything together.
Quick and Easy Bean and Corn Salad
You can prepare this bean and corn salad up to a day ahead. Keep the salad in the fridge and finish with the avocado and chilled salsa just before serving.
- 2 ears of corn, raw or cooked (or 1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed)
- 1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed (or 2 cups cooked black beans)
- 1/4 cup minced scallions
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon mild chipotle chili powder
- juice of 1 fresh lime
- 1 Haas avocado, diced (If you’re making this in advance, don’t chop the avocado until the day-of.)
- 1/2 cup your favorite salsa (homemade or store-bought is fine)
- hot sauce, to taste
- Toss together the corn, beans, scallions, garlic, spices, and lime juice. If you’re making this in advance, here is your stopping place. Cover and chill until you’re ready to serve – up to overnight.
- Just before serving, toss in the salsa and the avocado. Taste and add hot sauce, if you want it a little spicier.
- If you want to get fancy, reserve a little avocado and a handful of scallion greens to put on top as a garnish.