Summer salads

This has to be one of my favourite salads for this time of year. Combining sweet corn and tomatoes, it’s bursting with summer flavours. When I’m rushed for time, I simply use tinned black beans from my local grocer. You could substitute other tinned beans, too. The little trick of soaking the onion first, before lightly pickling it, takes away any strong raw onion flavours and softens the texture. Search out smoked almonds for their wonderful smoky salty flavour. If you can’t be bothered frying your own eschalots, grab a bag already prepared from your asian grocer or the asian section of the supermarket. I always keep them handy in the pantry and they give the salad some extra crunch. And be sure to use lots of fresh herbs. I always have plenty growing in the vegetable garden at this time of year (although the coriander does tend to bolt to seed quickly).

 

Grilled Sweet corn salad with black beans, almonds and pickled onion

Grilled sweetcorn salad with black beans and pickled onion

Grilled sweetcorn salad with black beans and pickled onion

 

This salad has a hint of Mexico. Delicious on its own or with barbecued meats.

 

1 cup black beans, soaked overnight

2 small red onions

juice 2 limes

juice 1 orange

3 ears of sweetcorn, husks on

400g punnet mixed heirloom cherry tomatoes

100g smoked almonds chopped

1 avocado, peeled and chopped into large chunks

2 eschalots, thinly sliced

½ (half) cup olive oil for salad dressing

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 green chilli, finely chopped

salt and pepper to season

handful coriander leaves, washed and dried

handful mint leaves, washed and dried

 

Cook beans in plenty of water for around 60 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside.

Peel and slice the onion thinly. Pour over boiling water to cover for 10 minutes. Drain then marinate in orange and lime juice for an hour.

Heat a bbq hot plate to high and cook corn in its husks, turning over to colour evenly for 30 minutes.

Remove and cool.  Peel the outer husk off and slice kernels off the cob. Place cobs in a mixing bowl and discard the corn husks.

Roughly chop the smoked almonds.

Fry the eschalots until crispy. Drain on paper towel.

Drain the pickled onions, reserving a little of the liquid for the salad dressing.

Make a simple dressing with the reserved juice, finely chopped garlic and chilli. Whisk in as much olive oil as you need. Season with salt and pepper.

Mix all the ingredients together and serve.

 

serves 4.