Black Bean & Corn Salad with Roasted Apricots & Cilantro Lime Dressing

August 7, 2014 § Leave a comment

black bean aprciot salad

I am really getting into salads that combine sweet and savory. When I was in Charlottesville over the weekend, a few us of ordered a salad called the Santa Monica at Eppie’s on the mall. It had roasted corn, goat cheese, tomatoes, and dates, atop a bed of spinach. It had the right amount of crunch from the corn, tartness from the goat cheese, and sweetness from the dates. It was inspiring!

cherry tomatoes

corn black beans tomatoes red onion diced

When I got home I wanted to make a similar salad, but with more protein. I had a bunch of cilantro in the fridge to use up (left over from this soup), so I decided to take it in a taco salad direction (not to be confused with salad tacos) and make a cilantro dressing and add black beans.

 

 

 

cilantro greek yogurt in food processor

cilantro lime dressing in food processor

drizzling in olive oil to dressing

cilantro lime dressing

I also had made the poor choice of buying apricots at Trader Joe’s. There are many things I love at Trader Joe’s, but their produce is nothing to write home about. I had been craving apricots for my morning yogurt after I got some really delicious ones at my farmers market, so I bought them against my better judgment. They were mediocre, so I thought I would try and rescue them by roasting them with some maple syrup, cinnamon, and lemon juice before tossing them in my salad.

pitted sliced apricots

Luckily, this treatment salvaged my apricots and upped their flavor. Along with the tangy dressing, it was a hit in my book. Its like taco salad meets Moroccan tagine…in a non-weird, delicious way!

roasted apricots

Black Bean & Corn Salad with Roasted Apricots & Cilantro Lime Dressing

Roasted apricots adapted from The Wednesday Chef; cilantro lime dressing from Damn Delicious 

Note: If you have really fresh, ripe apricots, you could skip the roasting and just toss them into the salad as is.

For the apricots:

8 apricots, halved and pits removed

maple syrup for drizzling

juice of 1 lemon

a few dashes of cinnamon

For the salad:

2 ears of corn

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained well

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1/2 teaspoon cumin

5 cups arugula

3 cups butter lettuce or Italian lettuce mix

1/4 red onion, sliced thin

1/4 cup pistachios (slivered almonds or pepitas would also go well here)

For the dressing

1 cup cilantro (I used the leaves and thinner stems, but removed the thicker stems)

1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt

2 garlic cloves, minced

juice from 1 lime

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

 

First, roast the apricots:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the halved, pitted apricots in a glass baking dish. Drizzle with maple syrup and lemon juice, and add a few dashes of cinnamon. Use your hands to toss the apricots with the maple syrup, lemon juice, and cinnamon.
  3. Roast for 30 minutes, until the apricots start to turn brown at the edges.
  4. Let cool.

While the apricots are roasting, cook the corn:

  1. Husk the corn and place the corn cobs in a microwave safe dish. Add water to the dish so the corn cobs are just covered.
  2. Microwave the corn for 5 minutes. Check the corn–you want the kernels to have some give to them when you press on them, but you don’t want the corn to be too mushy. Microwave for another minute if necessary.
  3. Rinse the corn with cold water and pat dry.
  4. Cut the corn kernels off the cob and transfer to a large bowl (big enough to use for the whole salad, we’re trying to minimize dishwashing here!).

Make the dressing: 

  1. Add cilantro, greek yogurt, garlic, and lime juice to the bowl of a food processor. Blend until smooth, although there will be flecks of cilantro in the dressing.
  2. With the food processor running, drizzle in the olive oil and apple cider vinegar.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Prepare the salad:

  1. Add the black beans and halved tomatoes to the bowl with the corn. Season with cumin and toss. Add a spoonful of dressing to the mixture and toss.
  2. Quarter cooled apricot halves and add to the bowl.
  3. Add lettuces, sliced red onion, and pistachios to the bowl.
  4. Toss to combine, and make sure all the good stuff isn’t just sitting at the bottom of the bowl.
  5. Add salad dressing, a couple tablespoons at a time, tossing after each addition, until the salad is dressed to your liking.
  6. Store any extra dressing in a jar in the fridge.

 

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