I originally got this corn & black bean salsa “recipe” (in quotes because the word implies consistency) from my awesome friend Casey, who brought it to a Mexican-themed summer get-together we had with friends. I was immediately smitten because it didn’t include 1) green bell pepper, 2) hot peppers, or 3) cilantro. I’m just not that fond of those ingredients, and finding a salsa without them is quite difficult.
However, that’s not to say this salsa CAN’T include them—its beauty is in its versatility. I’m pretty sure I’ve never made it the same way twice (let’s face it, mostly because I can never remember how).
So I’m just going to give you the guidelines and some other thoughts on how to adapt. You’ll have to play around with it to figure out how you like it best. People seriously scarf this, and rave about it every time I bring it somewhere.
Avengers Ingredients assemble! For this batch I used black beans, corn, red onion, red bell pepper, avocado, olive oil, salt & pepper, and a tiny bit of lime juice and cider vinegar.
Rinse the black beans well to get all the grainy glop off of them. You don’t want that messing up your pretty salsa. Black beans are such great sources of fiber and protein, not to mention antioxidants, so they’re a great base for the salsa. I usually get the low-sodium version, without added spices.
Dobby thought this was fascinating.
Add in your corn. I always try to find big, sweet kernels but without added sugar or lots of added salt. This would be awesome with fresh corn too (particularly grilled). I just don’t have a grill and I’m lazy. Casey uses the canned “fiesta” corn, but I don’t like the flavor of that quite as well. Use about a 1:1 ratio of black beans and corn.
De-seed and chop up your red bell pepper.
Make sure the pieces aren’t too big. Partly because some people find red pepper a little bitter, but also because you want it to be easy to scoop up with a tortilla chip.
I actually had never used avocado before for this recipe, but did this time. Avocado is awesome.
Throw it all in there. My one worry was that I was making this a few hours ahead of time and that the avocado would get brown. That’s where the lime juice came in. It did get a tiny bit brown, but as soon as I stirred it everything was fine.
Red onion tastes awesome with this combination of ingredients, way better than regular onion. You could also throw in some green onions (also known as spring onions or scallions—I think, at least they all look alike).
Now we have the main characters assembled.
Oh, and garlic. Don’t forget garlic. I did at first.
Stir everything together. Drizzle some olive oil over it, and a hefty dose of sea salt & fresh pepper. I also threw in some cider vinegar to give it a little bite.
All done! Can make ahead or fresh. The avocado’s the only thing that won’t keep quite as long. You can use whatever tortilla chips you like, I’m a fan of Santitas myself (and they’re like $2). This is also awesome in burritos, tacos, quesadillas, etc.
Basic Corn & Black Bean Salsa
- 2-3 ears of fresh corn or 1 can of sweet corn (if canned, make sure it’s no sugar added)
- 1 large red bell pepper, cut into small pieces
- 1 red onion, chopped in small pieces
- 2 cans of black beans, drained & rinsed
- Minced garlic
- Olive oil, salt, pepper
- Optional: avocado, tomato, green onion (a.k.a. scallions, I think), cilantro, green bell pepper, roasted/grilled squash or zucchini, jalapeno (if you’re brave)
Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl, seasoning with the salt and pepper to taste, and adding just a bit of olive oil at a time. Stir to combine, and taste to see if the seasoning is right. Use right away, or refrigerate to let the flavors meld even better. If using right away, I like to refrigerate all my ingredients ahead of time so the dip is cold 🙂