Spicy Grilled Corn Salad with Black Beans and Feta

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This is one of those delicious summer salads that don’t photograph well.  Don’t be deceived – this tastes incredible.  This is one of my favorite salads this summer.   If you’re a chipotle/adobo fan and you have a barbecue, give this a shot.   It’s easy to throw together, and you can make it in advance.   The flavor gets better as it sits.  I’ve made this several times already this summer (the sign of a good recipe) and I’m making it again tomorrow for our dinner guests.

If you’ve never used chipotle peppers before, you want to make sure you remove the seeds unless you like things very, very spicy.

Spicy Grilled Corn Salad with Black Beans and Feta
Adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine, July 2012

3 ears fresh corn, husked
1 medium red onion, cut into disks about 1/3 inch thick
1 large red bell pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small canned chipotle, seeded and minced, plus 1 Tablespoon adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo)
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
One 15-1/2-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
5 oz. crumbled feta (1 cup)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

Prepare a medium charcoal or gas grill fire. Brush the corn, onion, and pepper with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.   Season with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Grill the corn and onion, flipping occasionally, until beginning to brown (the onions should still be a little crunchy), 6 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board to cool slightly. Grill the pepper until charred on all sides, about 12 minutes. Put the pepper in a bowl, cover, and cool until it’s able to be handled for chopping.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk  6 Tablespoons olive oil, the minced chipotle pepper and the adobo sauce, vinegar, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper.  Set aside.

Chop the onion coarsely and put it in a large bowl. Cut the corn from the cobs and add to the bowl. Coarsely chop the pepper, taking care to remove the seeds; add to the bowl, along with the beans, cheese, cilantro, and oregano.

Rewhisk the dressing, add it to the corn mixture, and toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The salad can be made up to a day ahead.  If you’re making it in advance, don’t add the fresh herbs until just before you’re ready to serve it.   It’s best served at room temperature.

Yield:  6 – 8 servings as a side dish

One year ago: Grilled Eggplant Salad
Two years ago: Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze
Three years ago: Frozen Hot Chocolate

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