Summer may not officially start until June, but our local markets are filling up with traditional summer fruits and vegetables. Bins of grass green watermelons are slowly appearing in the produce section. The vendors at our farmers’ market are selling zucchini and yellow crookneck squash. My own little garden is producing its first cherry tomatoes, plum tomatoes, and summer squash. And, maybe best of all, fresh sweet corn is making its arrival.
About a week ago, I sent my husband to the grocery to pick up some fresh summer corn. We had decided to grill steaks on the gas grill for dinner, and when I think of grilling, I almost automatically think of corn on the cob. Wanting to mix things up a bit – because I’m wild and crazy like that – I did something a little different with the corn.
I sauteed the kernels just for a few minutes, added some black beans, a handful of cherry tomatoes, and some torn romaine lettuce. The salad was colorful, with a lovely sweetness from the corn and tomatoes. The beans provided a savory element in the salad, and all-in-all, the salad was light and refreshing.
It was a perfect summer, or almost summer, salad.
Corn and Black Bean Salad
Yield: Serves 6.
You can vary the amount of lettuce and tomatoes depending on your taste. Also, you can vary the salad dressing. I didn't bother making my own dressing this time but instead used a good bottle of light ranch dressing.
2-3 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 4 ears corn)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 head of romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 to 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 to 1/2 cup ranch dressing, or other salad dressing of your choice
Preheat large sauté pan on medium high heat, 2-3 minutes. Sauté corn kernels in the olive oil until tender, about 2-4 minutes. Transfer corn to large bowl.
Combine remaining ingredients - black beans, lettuce, tomatoes - and toss with salad dressing, adding more if needed. Serve.