How to Make Black Beans and Corn Salsa
This very simple, chunky salsa is wonderful and served with hearty tortilla chips. It is open to interpretation—feel free to add some cooked shrimp or other seafood to it, maybe some diced roasted chicken or even some cooked shredded pork, and turn it into a wonderful anytime supper. Leave it meatless for a filling snack or appetizer.
Black beans, also known as black turtle beans, are a versatile legume widely used in cuisines worldwide. Native to Central and South America, black beans are prized for their rich, earthy flavor, firm texture, and nutritional value.
These small, shiny black beans are a staple ingredient in Latin American and Caribbean cooking, where they feature prominently in dishes such as black bean soup, rice and beans, and Cuban black beans. They are also a key component in Mexican cuisine, where they are often mashed and used as a filling for tacos, burritos, and enchiladas.
Black beans are not only delicious but also highly nutritious. They are a good source of plant-based protein, fiber, folate, and minerals such as iron, magnesium, and potassium. Incorporating black beans into meals can help promote satiety, regulate blood sugar levels, and support digestive health.
In addition to their culinary uses, black beans are valued for their versatility and shelf stability. They can be purchased dried or canned, making them convenient for cooking at home. Whether used in hearty soups, vibrant salads, or flavorful dips, black beans add depth and nourishment to many dishes, making them a beloved ingredient in cuisines worldwide.
Why Roast the Corn Before Adding?
Roasting corn before using it in salsa enhances its flavor and texture, adding depth and complexity to the overall dish. Here are several reasons why roasting corn is beneficial:
- Enhanced Sweetness: Roasting caramelizes the natural sugars present in corn, intensifying its sweetness. This adds a delightful flavor dimension to the salsa, balancing the acidity of other ingredients like tomatoes and lime juice.
- Developed Flavor: The Maillard reaction, which occurs when sugars and amino acids in food are heated, develops new flavor compounds. Roasting corn enhances its nutty and toasty notes, contributing to a richer and more complex flavor profile in the salsa.
- Improved Texture: Roasting corn imparts a pleasant smokiness and charred aroma while also providing a slightly firmer texture compared to raw corn. This texture adds a satisfying crunch to the salsa, complementing the softness of other ingredients.
- Aesthetic Appeal: Roasted corn kernels take on a visually appealing golden-brown color with charred bits, adding visual interest and depth to the salsa. The contrast in colors and textures makes the salsa more visually appealing when served.
Roasting corn before using it in salsa transforms it from a simple ingredient into a flavorful and vibrant component that elevates the entire dish. The process enhances sweetness, develops complex flavors, improves texture, and enhances the visual appeal of the salsa, resulting in a more enjoyable culinary experience.
Black Bean and Roasted Corn Salsa Recipe
- 1½ cups canned black beans rinsed and drained
- 4 ears corn kernels removed, recipe follows
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup fresh lime juice depending on the size of your limes, 3-5
- 3 tablespoons neutral oil light olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin or to taste
- 1 small red onion finely diced
- 1-2 Serrano or jalapeno peppers minced
- 1 can Ro-Tel juice and all (diced tomatoes and green chilies)
- 1 ripe avocado diced
- Whisk together lime juice, oil, garlic, salt, pepper and cumin.
- Combine all other ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing, and refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight, stirring every couple of hours.
- Serve with crisp tortilla chips, or even on a bed of lettuce as a salad.
- Add 1 cup boiled popcorn shrimp, diced chicken or shredded pork, if desired.
- Shuck and clean the corn of all the silt
- Neutral oil, to brush on ears
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon cumin, or to taste
- Preheat oven to 400° F and arrange an oven rack in the middle of the oven.
- Brush ears of corn lightly with neutral oil. Sprinkle with salt and cumin.
- Place on a foil-covered baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes. Turn ears and roast for 10 more minutes, or until kernels are beginning to color.
- You can also do this under the broiler, but watch carefully so your corn doesn’t burn.
- Remove pan from oven and let corn cool.
- Remove corn kernels from the cob by holding an ear vertically in the center of a large bowl or on a clean, lint-free kitchen towel on top of a cutting board. Make sure that one end of the ear is firmly on the bottom of the bowl/cutting board.
- Slice kernels off with long downward strokes of your chef knife, turning ear a bit after each cut. Try to keep the kernels whole, but if you misjudge and just cut off the tips, don’t worry—just make another pass with your knife.