Black Bean and Fresh Corn Pasta Salad

When we went to Northern Ireland, we stayed at Corrymeela in one of their guest rooms and our stay included all meals. Since we were traveling so much, we didn’t get to fully take advantage of the meals, but we did join everyone for dinner the first two nights. The first night, the menu consisted of a tasty vegetarian lasagna (cauliflower, string beans) and three salads (cole slaw with apples, potato salad and black bean corn pasta salad). Since in Romania we had mainly a meat diet with very small bowls of cucumber salad, I decided to take a big spoon of each salad. I tasted all of them and decided the black bean salad was my least favorite. It was very bland and it definitely lacked seasoning. I remember thinking how it would be great to have some lime and cilantro to add to the salad, when one of the volunteers at our table excitedly got up to get a second portion of the salad!!! My sister later explained to me that they mostly get the same salads every night so people get more excited about variety than taste 🙂

Since it is corn season, I decided to try and make the same salad, only have it taste much better 🙂 I usually tend to forget about my corn when I boil it, but this time I made sure I didn’t overcook it and it tastes delicious.

Ingredients (about 4 servings):

  • 2 cups pasta (measured dry)
  • 2 corn ears
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cups chopped cilantro
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 big lime
  • 2 Tb vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • avocado (optional)

I started with boiling the corn. I got a pot of water to boil, then added the corn, covered the pot and waited until it came back to a full boil (3-4min). I did turn the corn over half way through. Since the corn floats it’s hard to get it uniformly cooked even with the lid on. And voila, perfectly cooked corn!

While the corn is cooling down, cook your pasta according to the package directions. After the corn is cool enough, remove the kernels using a knife, or a corn kerneler gadget if you have one. Chop the cilantro and the green onions. After the pasta is cooked, drain and rinse with some cold water. Mix the pasta with the veggies in a large bowl. Juice the lime, add oil and season with salt and pepper. Top with avocado and enjoy 🙂

I made this for lunch so the avocado didn’t make it into the picture since I didn’t want it to oxidize. I sliced my avocado in half, rinsed the surface with water and then press it face down into the salad to minimize the oxidation. Alternatively, you can squeeze some lime onto the surface, but I used all my lime in the salad.

This salad tasted very fresh (especially the corn!!!) and it was perfect for lunch in these super hot Chicago summer days! It finally rained today and I hope the temperatures will back down to 80s…I love summer, but 90s can be a bit too much, especially with the humidity.

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