Meatless Monday: Avocado and corn salad

A spring salad with Southwestern flavors and a zesty lime dressing.

In Praise of Leftovers
Fresh corn, avocado, black beans, tomatoes, and tortilla chips combine to make a salad with a tasty crunch.

Editor's note: This is an excerpt from a post that Sarah originally posted on June 4, 2009, on her blog but we spotted it in her recipe archives and thought it was a perfect use for fresh spring greens. Salad is timeless, after all! You can read her full post here.

My lettuces are coming up. Every gardener blathers on and on about how satisfying this is. I can't help myself. It's satisfying. I'm a new gardener – this is my fourth year with a veggie patch, and I'm not the most attentive gardener in the world. But I'm doing it!. And I had some corn, avocados, and tomatoes from Young's (the Asian market up the street from my house).

Avocado and Corn Salad
Serves four. You could use spinach or less perfect lettuces than mine (have to rub it in) and it would still be delicious.

4 ears corn or 1-1/2 cup frozen corn
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 avocados, diced
4 big handfuls washed greens
2 large tomatoes or 4 roma tomatoes, diced
Handful washed and chopped cilantro
Tortilla chips, coarsely crumbled

For dressing:
1 minced garlic clove
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Plenty of salt and pepper
Juice of 1 lime
4 tablespoons canola oil
4 tablespoons olive oil

If you're cooking ears of corn, this is how I do it to make sure it stays crisp: Drop the ears in a big pot of water, and bring to a boil. Once it boils, turn the heat off, cover the pot, and let the corn sit for 10 minutes. Pull it out, let it cool, and then cut it off the cob. If you're using frozen corn, just cook to package directions.

For dressing: Combine everything but the oil, then slowly whisk in oil to emulsify. The reason I always do my dressings this way (instead of shaking them or stirring everything at once) is because, if you add too much oil, it's hard to correct. If you do it this way, you have more control. Always taste your dressings along the way. They make the salad. For this one, it's particularly important that it's salty and limey enough.

Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl and very gently toss with the dressing (using your hands). Dish onto plates and serve.

Sarah Murphy-Kangas blogs at In Praise of Leftovers.

Related post: Green Bean and Pita Salad.

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