Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tried & Tweaked: Black Bean and Corn Salsa

Maybe it was the crazed wind that inspired me, but the tail end of this afternoon found me rushing about, doing ten things at once in an effort to be ready to leave the house by 6:30pm. Hadn't had lunch, hadn't cooked dinner, hadn't put on a happy and colorful face.

Enter this salsa-- a crisp and colorful chop-chop-stir of a dish that is a cinch to make, doubles or triples well (for parties, where it's always a huge hit) and works just as well piled into wraps for a sandwich as it does served with tortilla chips for scooping, or on top of more traditional taco fillings.

It's also part of the early history of my life with hubby-man: knowing I was vegetarian and that he liked to cook (back then-- sigh) my MIL bought a neato little "world vegetarian" cookbook for us to share and we ransacked its pages for years, in the process making damn near all of the recipes in the Mexican and Italian sections. This one, I still make often, tweaking to adjust to what's in my pantry: having tried other recipes of the same type in vain, I stopped looking and instead use this perfect and simple recipe as suits my needs. It makes a good crunchy meal for 2-3 three with some wraps or chips-- you can be sure it tastes wonderful with or without some grated cheddar thrown into the wrap, too.

To make this utterly vegan, simply use a different sweetener than the honey called for; I sometimes use a squeeze of fresh orange juice instead myself, and the lift of citrus is always welcome. Raw tomatoes, in a slightly smaller amount, are fine in place of canned, though it doesn't hold as well overnight. Adjust the seasoning to your taste and feel free to add fresh cilantro; the main way that I've tweaked this is to use fresh garlic and veg wherever possible. It really sings that way, but use the stocked up canned or frozen when you have to-- it's still fresh-tasting and hard to stop eating.

From Bobbie Hinman's The Meatless Gourmet, Favorite Recipes from Around the World.

BLACK BEAN and CORN SALSA (adapted slightly by Mari Kozlowski)

Serves 8-12 as a dip.

2 1-lb cans salt-free tomatoes, chopped and drained (I use less)
1 1-lb can black beans, drained and rinsed (or 2 C cooked black beans)
1 1/3 C canned corn, drained, or frozen corn, thawed and drained
1/4 C each finely chopped onion and chopped celery
1 4-oz can green chilies, chopped and drained, or raw chopped jalapeno to taste (start with about half a jalapeno, go from there)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar, plus more or fresh lime juice to taste
2 tsp honey
1 tsp each ground coriander and ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
pepper or hot sauce to taste
handful chopped zucchini, olives, or cucumber*, optional

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients, mixing well. Chill several hours or overnight. Stir and adjust seasonings before serving with tortilla chips or veggie dippers.
*If using cucumber, use it seeded, peeled, chopped, and don't add till just before serving or it waters down the flavors with its juice.

Tomorrow we have a guest post from the Crafty Green Poet-- be sure to stop by!

Peace, Mari


  1. that sounds delicious, definitely one i need to try!

  2. I'm sure you'll enjoy it. We can't get enough...