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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Black Bean and Grilled Corn Salad with Avocado

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I try to avoid the outdoor grill, leaving that for Ryan. I'm not completely incapable, but Ryan will admit he has a fear of me blowing up the neighborhood while trying to light the darn thing so I typically keep a distance. So although this Cooking Light-inspired recipe called for grilling the vegetables, I opted for an alternate route: my panini press. Have you ever tried to grill corn on the cob within the plates of a panini press? Take my lesson learned and don't even try it, unless you want your corn cobs to come barreling out of the press! Plan C, then, was to use a skillet over medium-high heat.
It made for a less traditionally grilled salad, but the skillet did a satisfactory job of charring the vegetables. I turned the corn and jalapeño a few times until they were evenly cooked and then removed them and let the onion grill until it had grill marks (I turned up the heat to high). By the time it was all mixed up in the bowl and topped with my favorite healthy fat (avocado!), you'd never guess that it had been untraditionally prepared. In other words, don't let the cooler temperatures or lack of a grill stop you from giving this a try! We loved this healthy salad, which could easily be tossed into a burrito or served as a salsa with tortilla chips.

One Year Ago: Whole Wheat Jam Filled Ebelskivers 
Two Years Ago: Maine and Boston Foodie Recap
Three Years Ago: Double Oat Breakfast Cookies

Black Bean and Grilled Corn Salad with Avocado
significantly adapted from Cooking Light June 2012
-1 pint halved grape tomatoes
-1 tsp salt, divided
-2 ears shucked corn
-1 medium white onion, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
-1 jalapeño pepper
-1 tbsp olive oil
-1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
-juice from 1 lime
-1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
-1 avocado, peeled and sliced
-4-6 cups spinach

1. Preheat the grill or a skillet over medium-high heat. In a large bowl, add the tomatoes and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt. Set aside.
2. Brush corn, onion, and jalapeño evenly with oil. Place vegetables on the grill rack or the skillet coated with cooking spray. Grill until vegetables are lightly charred (may take different amounts of time). Once charred, remove vegetables and set aside to slightly cool.
3. After vegetables have stood for 5 minutes, cut kernels from cobs, chop onion, and dice jalapeño. Add chopped vegetables to the tomato mixture and toss to combine. Add the remaining 1/2 tsp salt, cilantro, and black beans. Sprinkle with lime juice and toss to combine.
4. Serve mixture over spinach with sliced avocado. Sprinkle with additional lime juice if desired.