29 January 2013

Corn & Black Bean Salsa

Oh Melbourne, while I do love your idiosyncratic weather, sometimes... let's just say the Australia Day public holiday... I wish you were a little more consistent. After all it is summer, and summer in the 'sunburnt country', so one might reasonably expect sunshine, warmth and a lazy day around a BBQ wearing a hat and heaven forbid, shorts! Instead I ventured out for my morning coffee (to wash down a vitamin D) in long sleeves...
Today's current lack of sunshine aside, the long days and fresh ripe produce make "cooking" easy, for me summer food is all about colour, flavour and sharing. Salsa in its innumerable forms can make a great accompaniment for BBQ'd meats and fish, or on top of quick quesadillas toasted on the grill. Above all else it is a healthy, easy to assemble, flavour packed grazing food that can fill the gap between lunch and twilight on those summer days that feel dreamy and endless.

This sunshine yellow corn with glossy black bean salsa is a real visual statement, it's easy to "assemble" and tastes like summer. I served this for lunch over cheese arepas* (pictured) and then later in the day with BBQ'd fish.
Ingredients (serves 8 - 10 as a side at a BBQ):
  • 5 ears of corn
  • 1 x 400g tin black beans (frijoles negros), drained and rinsed
  • 1 red capsicum (bell pepper), chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 spring onions, sliced (use the white and green parts)
  • 1/2 bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
  • 2 long red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • drizzle olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • pinch sugar
  • salt and cracked pepper to taste
  1. remove husk and 'silk' from corn cobs, then lightly oil the cobs
  2. cook on the BBQ (or in a pan) turning frequently until cooked through, with some black flecks on the corn (not wholly burnt though) approximately 10 minutes
  3. remove from heat and once they have cooled a little, cut the kernels off the cob and put into a large mixing bowl with the rinsed black beans
  4. finely chop the red capsicum, red onion and spring onions and add to the bowl along with the roughly chopped coriander
  5. in a jar combine the chillies, lime juice, minced garlic, olive oil, cumin powder, sugar, salt and pepper and shake well to combine
  6. pour over corn etc in the bowl, stir well and refrigerate for an hour to allow the flavours to infuse
  7. adjust seasoning if necessary, enjoy!
* if you are in Melbourne you can get frozen arepas (cheese or plain) from Casa Iberica, they are gluten free and extremely handy to have in the freezer for quick bites. Just defrost and then cook in a pan, on the BBQ, under the grill or even in the toaster!


  1. I'm not saying that the salsa doesn't look awesome (because it does) but OOZING CHEESE is in play here. I would love the arepas recipe!

    1. I know, say the words 'oozing cheese' and I'm there! I use the recipe in link below for arepas but use half milk and half water with a pinch of cayenne pepper and a bit more salt in the "bread", make them about 3.5cm thick. Once cooked (eat a couple hot with butter & vegemite) & cooled, make a small incision in the side and stuff with mozzarella AND swiss cheese, at this point you can freeze them for later or pan fry, grill or put in the toaster (incision side up or it gets messy) until the cheese melts. Would love to know if you come across another recipe for them that you like or something similar and cheesy. Ingrid x www.southamericanfood.about.com/od/breads/r/arepasbasic.htm