Friday, July 15, 2011

Zesty Corn Salad

I served this salad to company and was barely able to save enough for a photo. I kept what was left and surrounded it with flour tortillas warmed over an open flame and ate it for lunch the following day. The spicy juice was every bit as good as the zesty veggies and I used up my last tortilla as a dipper. Yum.
 Since becoming a vegan, I think I've seen at least a dozen recipes for corn salad and every one of them includes black beans. While I adore black beans, sometimes I just want a vegan recipe sans beans of any kind. From time to time, my mouth hungers for something out of the ordinary. Something zesty that will titillate my taste buds. Something for my own table or a family potluck or a church dinner that will cause people to seek me out and beg me to tell them how to make it.

I can't tell you where I got this recipe because I've had it for so long I've forgotten. Most likely, it was at one of those family gatherings or church potlucks where, ego in check, I begged for the recipe myself. Wherever it came from, I think you'll enjoy it. With summer's bounty hitting the grocery stores and Farmer's Markets, there is no better time than now to seek out vegetables fresh from the fields. Once the produce is picked, it takes but a few hours for their  natural sugars to convert to starch, so the sooner we get them on the table, the happier our taste buds will be with the party that's going on in our mouth.


In a medium size bowl, combine 2 Tbs. Mexican Spice Mix (recipe follows) with 1/4 c. of  olive oil and 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar. Whisk together.

Add to the bowl:

2 cups of cooked corn, kernels cut from the cob taste best
2 large tomatoes, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/2 cup diced chili peppers (I use either fresh Anaheim or Pasilla, sometimes called Poblano, as they are the mildest. If you like spicy, toss in some jalapeno.

The seasoning mix contains salt, so I didn't add any extra, but if the salad isn't just right for your palette, add salt and pepper to taste.

Stir everything together, cover with plastic wrap and leave it in the refrigerator at least two hours. Overnight is better. Before serving, sprinkle the salad with 3 Tbs. chopped cilantro. Approximate servings: 4

This dish is good as a stand alone salad, but it serves well as a filling for avocado halves, topping for a veggie-burger, wrapped inside a warm flour tortilla, or stuffed into a giant baked potato. Happy Summer!

Fresh corn is low in saturated fat, very low in sodium, and has no cholesterol. It is high in dietary fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, thiamine, and vitamin C. When purchasing fresh corn on the cob, look for tight husks, healthy silks, and plump kernels. It is best to eat fresh corn the day it is purchased but if it has to be stored, leave it in the husks to prevent drying out. The longer corn sits before cooking, the less sweet it will be because the natural sugars will convert to starch. If the corn had to sit too long after dad brought it in from the field, mom's trick was to add a bit of sugar to the water she boiled the corn in. Worked every time.


1 Tbs. chili powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. sea salt (I used kosher)
1 tsp. black pepper

Mix everything together and store in an airtight container. This blend of ingredients is less costly than the seasoning packs from the grocery store and is easy to toss together. The blend is shelf stable for a good 3 months. Probably longer, but it usually gets used it up before then.

Copyright 2011 by Sandra L Keith, All rights reserved

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