Photo: Scott Moon
Bid a Fond Farewell to the Food of Summer
Sweet Cool Corn and Black Bean Salsa Salad
BY MAGAZINE CONTRIBUTOR SCOTT MOON
As the local summer growing season winds down, I find myself craving my two favorite seasonal items – fresh, locally grown tomatoes (the only kind worth eating) and delicious sweet corn served only hours after picking. Must be the Hoosier in me, but nothing says summer like a steaming ear of sweet corn with a bit of butter (yeah, I know… but it tastes good).
Healthy at heart
Corn was developed in Central America from a wild grass as long as 7,000 years ago. Being a human invention, modern corn could not exist without cultivation and support. By the time Columbus “discovered” America, maize was a versatile staple of the Native American diet and is still available in black, red, pink, blue and even striped varieties in addition to the popular yellow and white kernels.
While it does not contain much protein, corn does contribute complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins B1, B5, C, and E, antioxidants and folic acid to our diet. Corn aids in heart and lung health and lowers the body’s ability to absorb cholesterol. Who wouldn’t want all that?
You can take it with you
Alright, so the kernels can get stuck in your teeth, cooking it heats up the kitchen and it is messy to eat, but here is an flavorful, fork-friendly option: a salad made of corn, black beans and a bit of cool, fresh seasoning.
Adding black beans increases your intake of folate, fiber and antioxidants while complementing the corn by being a source of protein and iron. My favorite concoction is highlighted by a bright squeeze of lime.
kernels from 2 ears of corn
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 small onion, finely diced
1 small tomato, diced
several sprigs of cilantro or parsley, chopped
1/4 cup canola oil
juice of one lime
1 1/2 tsp cumin (mmm, I love cumin!)
salt to taste
Additions and Alternatives
- red bell pepper (in place of tomato)
- green bell pepper (if you like that)
- jalapeno pepper (to add some zing!)
- ground cayenne pepper
- change proportions as desired!
Mix corn, beans, onion, tomato and cilantro or parsley in a bowl.
Whisk together oil, lime juice, cumin and salt, then combine with corn mixture. (I wouldn’t use all the oil mixture, but if you like it wet, be my guest.)
Isn’t that simple? And it’ll be even tastier if, unlike me, you can manage to let it rest a few hours before consuming.
Try this tip to make removing the kernels easier: invert a small bowl in a larger one and set the ear on end in the middle of the small bowl. Slice kernels off in a downward motion, keeping your hand at the top of the ear, of course!
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© 2011, The Magazine of Yoga, LLC.