Charred Corn and Bean Salad ~ everybody’s favorite healthy summer salad gets a delicious makeover with sweet corn that’s been blackened on the grill. There’ll be no rolling back this update!
I get a little obsessive with bean salads. We pick up so many of our food preferences from our parents, and I remember my mom was just crazy about them when I was a kid. Back then I couldn’t stand them, but I’ve grown up…
And by obsessive I don’t just mean that I make them all the time, which I do. I also mean that I try to cram as many different bean varieties into my salads as I can. I’m not satisfied with 3, or 5, I got 8 types of beans into this one (thank goodness for pop tops.)
What’s nice about this salad is that the natural sweetness of the corn complements the earthy beans, so even if you aren’t a bean salad lover, this one might sway you. I add a little honey in the dressing to seal the deal.
When there are fresh beans in a bean salad you’re going to want to blanch them. That just means cooking them very briefly to take the raw edge off and bring out their flavor and color.
How to blanch fresh beans the easy way ~
I do this in the microwave: put the cut beans in a bowl and add a little water. Loosely cover the bowl and microwave for about 2 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. The beans will be bright green and crisp tender.
The charred corn is even easier to prep ~ I do it right in a cast iron skillet on the stove top, but you can do it on a charcoal grill, under the broiler, or right over the open flame of your gas stove burner using tongs and common sense :) The main objective is to get some charring on the corn, however you do it. Don’t worry about cooking the corn, the kernels will steam a little bit as it chars (great corn doesn’t need much cooking anyway.)
Bean salads aren’t just for church suppers and potlucks…they make healthy side dishes and lunches, too. Did you know they’re super foods just like kale and blueberries?
Also try ~
- I cup cooked or canned pinto beans
- 1 cup cooked or canned garbanzo beans
- 1 cup cooked or canned white beans
- 1 cup cooked or canned kidney beans
- 1 cup cooked or canned black eyed peas
- 1 cup cooked or canned black beans
- 1 cup fresh green beans, cut in 1 inch pieces
- 1 cup frozen and thawed lima beans
- 2 ears of corn, charred, kernels removed
- 1 small pickling cucumber, chopped (don't peel)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1/2 cup marinated red peppers, I used Bird's Beak peppers from the olive bar
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp grainy Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp smooth Dijon mustard
- pinch salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- Combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
- Whisk together the dressing and taste to adjust any of the ingredients. Toss the salad with the dressing. Add salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or two before serving.
- Serve garnished with more fresh thyme leaves.
- The salad will keep for a week in the refrigerator.
Make this charred corn and bean salad your own ~
- Make it a 10 bean salad! Add lentils, cannelini beans, edamame, wax beans…
- Make it for a (bigger) crowd ~ use the whole can of each type of bean, and double the rest of the ingredients.