Zesty Salsa Bean Salad Recipe – Meatless Monday
This Zesty Salsa Bean Salad Recipe is inspired by a salad made by my mother that she got from Taste of Home. I loved that recipe so much that I couldn’t stop messing with it throughout the year, adding this or that until I came up with this combination that makes the “love of color” girl inside me squee with happiness. Isn’t that color combination gorgeous on a plate? My sister gave it her full thumbs-up approval, so for those of you who love a bit of zest in your life, this one has the spicy side of Mexican we both love.
The added bonus is that it uses up the ingredients received in several weeks of our farm share, plus it’s great for picnics or sharing with a large amount of people, and it’s perfect to serve with tortilla or corn chips for some heavy handed dipping. Add in that it’s economical for Meatless Mondays, plus the leftovers can be used several ways and I think this one will find its way into your heart and your tummy with glee!
If you’d prefer to use cooked dry beans instead of canned, the Reluctant Gourmet has conversions here.
First, add all the beans to a colander and rinse them well under cold water. Rinse until you no longer see any bubbles. Pour the beans into a large bowl and mix. (If you’re using dry beans that have been cooked, you can skip the rinsing step.)
Cook Corn on the Cob a couple minutes in water that has been pre-boiled and is coming back to a boil after adding in the cobs, then place in an ice bath to stop cooking. Slice kernels off the cob when cool.
The longer you cook corn, the tougher it gets so be careful not to overcook it. You can also use frozen corn slightly defrosted. For detailed instructions on cooking fresh corn, there are great instructions here at What’s Cooking America.
These are the veggies you need to chop up next. I use a Hungarian Hot Pepper but you can substitute a Sweet Pepper for less of a kick.
While water is coming to a boil for the corn, chop Celery, Red Onion, Tomato, Tomatillo, Pepper and Cilantro. Mix well in a large bowl. I like chopping and adding each item in a pile in the bowl, watching the colors pile up, then stir it well before adding the corn. Here are the Tomatillos and Tomatoes.
A tip on Tomatillos — you can easily find these green little gems that are in husks at your fresh market in the summer. Husk them, then throw a few in a freezer bag to add into this recipe in the winter. We make this recipe for all our picnics in the summer but it’s so good in the winter too! Yes, the Tomatillos (above photo) have lots of little seeds. Don’t worry about them, you won’t even notice them.
Here I’ve chopped up the celery and red onion — notice that I’m not real concerned about uniform sizes of anything. I like the mish-mash of color in all shapes and sizes. The peppers are buried in there somewhere but not pictured.
Ahhh — fresh cut corn off the cob — can you smell it and taste the sweetness?
I add the cilantro at the end, after I’ve mixed all the vegetables together, so that the cilantro gets better distributed without clumping.
IMPORTANT — when making the dressing, make sure you mix the dry ingredients separately, then add it to the wet ingredients, mixing the two together well before adding it into the bean and vegetables. This will avoid “hot spots” in your salad. Getting a mouthful of chili or cumin isn’t very palatable. Trust me, I’ve done it! Bleh. 😀
Finally, cover and Chill for 2 hours for the best blend of flavors. This tastes even better the next day so don’t hesitate making it ahead.
The best part of this Zesty Salsa Bean Salad is that it can be eaten by itself, or in a wrap for Meatless Mondays, or scooped up with Fritos or Tortilla Chips as a snack. Then the next day it can be a topping on Grilled Chicken or Burgers. You can easily keep the whole family happy by grilling up some Salmon Patties, Turkey Burgers, Angus Burgers and Vegetarian Burgers to be topped with this Bean Salad. Don’t hesitate to make a big batch of Zesty Salsa Bean Salad for a variety of delicious ways to eat it over several days.
- 1 can (15 oz) Pinto Beans (1 1/2 Cups of Cooked)
- 1 can (15 oz) Black Beans (1 1/2 Cups of Cooked)
- 1 can (15 oz) Garbanzo Beans (Chick Peas) (1 1/2 Cups of Cooked)
- 2 ribs of Celery including leaves if available
- 1 Red Onion - Medium to Large
- 1 Tomato - Medium to Large
- 1 Cup of Fresh (approximately 2 Ears) Corn or Frozen
- 1/2 - 1 whole Hungarian Hot Pepper
- 2-3 Tomatillos
- 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped Cilantro
- 1 Cup of Salsa of your choice (mild for tender palates, I prefer a Chipotle blend by Food Should Taste Good that we get at Sam's Club.)
- 1/4 Cup Sunflower Oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/4 Cup Lime Juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of Chili Powder
- 1 teaspoons of Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of Ground Cumin
- Fresh Ground Pepper -- a couple cranks based on your preference
- Two - three shakes of McCormick's Mojito Lime Grill Mates Seasoning - this gives it a little more zip but it can be left out or substitute your favorite seasoning blend.
- Add all the beans to a colander and rinse them well under cold water. Rinse until you no longer see any bubbles. Pour beans into a large bowl and mix. If you're using cooked dry beans, you can skip the rinsing step.
- Cook Corn on the Cob a couple minutes in water that has been pre-boiled and is coming back to a boil after adding in the cobs, then place in an ice bath to stop cooking. Slice kernels off the cob when cool. (The longer you cook corn, the tougher it gets so be careful not to overcook it. You can also use frozen corn slightly defrosted.)
- While water is coming to a boil for the corn, chop Celery, Red Onion, Tomato, Tomatillo, Pepper and Cilantro. Mix the vegetables with the beans in the large bowl. I add the cilantro at the end, after I've mixed all the vegetables together, so that the cilantro gets better distributed without clumping.
- Make the dressing by combining all dry ingredients by themselves, mix well. Then combine the wet ingredients by themselves, mix well. Gradually sprinkle the dry ingredients into the wet, mix, add some more dry, mix, etc... This will avoid "hot spots" in your salad.
- Add the dressing to the beans and vegetables.
- Cover and Chill for 2 hours for the best blend of flavors. This tastes even better the next day so don't hesitate making it ahead.
- Enjoy from Dorine at The Zest Quest!