Summer’s End Corn Salad

In the summer of 2016 I had the pleasure of working on an organic vegetable farm called Sienna Farms in my hometown. I decided to farm for a summer in between university years because earlier generations in my family were all farmers and I wanted to see what it was like. While not part of my cooking learning and journey, it definitely gave me a new appreciation for high-quality, local ingredients and has influenced how I eat today for the better. End of summer is a special time for me, there’s nothing I enjoy more than going to Marché Jean Talon (open air market in Montreal) and buying food from local farms and interacting with the people who make delicious food truly possible. 

One of the things I learned while working on the farm was how tasty raw sweet corn is when it’s fresh. It’s juicy, sweet, crunchy and super refreshing on a hot summer day. I like to eat an ear raw right at the market when I buy it, and the amount of weird looks I’ve gotten tells me that not enough people have tried corn raw. So, why not make a whole recipe centered on it to demonstrate this delicious and underappreciated way to eat corn. 

Another benefit of using raw corn is that there’s no cooking required, so it’s super easy. This salad may just be the easiest recipe I’ve ever written. Simply chop all the ingredients, toss and enjoy! By now, it’s definitely no surprise that for this recipe I would highly recommend going to a local farmers market to buy high quality ingredients. This recipe is really about letting delicious ingredients do all the work to define the flavor. So get out there, support local farmers and enjoy what little warm weather we have left for the year!

Active time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 6 ears fresh sweet corn, husked and kernels cut off the cob
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 3 jalapenos, seeded & finely sliced
  • 1 white onion, finely diced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 3 cups black beans*, drained (2 15oz cans)
  • ⅓ cup pepitas
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ⅓ cup lime juice
  • ½ tsp ancho chili powder (not-spicy chili powder)
  • ¼ tsp cayenne chili powder
  • 1 ¼ tsp salt (more if using unsalted canned beans)

Directions:

  1. Prepare all the vegetables and place them in a large salad bowl along with the black beans and pepitas.
  2. Whisk together the mayonnaise, lime juice, ancho chili powder, cayenne chili powder and salt. 
  3. Pour the sauce over the salad and toss to combine. Taste for salt levels as well as lime juice levels, adjust to your liking. Serve fresh or can be stored in the fridge 2-3 days (yes, it’s really that simple)!

*Note: As always, I recommend cooking your beans at home. 

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