Grilled Corn and Black Beans Salad
Corn in Kelowna is wonderful. We get it directly from the growers, freshly picked that morning and still cool from early morning breeze. The season for corn is fairly short so we try to take advantage of it and include corn in much of our summer cooking.
Corn should be cooked soon after you buy it as it tends to convert its sugars into starch and loses the crisp texture and sweet flavour quickly.
I read that a gene mutation back in the 1800’s produced the species of corn we eat today, a mutation that prevents the corn from converting sugar into starch, but I am not sure about the specifics of this issue. I still suggest you cook it soon after buying. It’s a completely different experience buying corn directly from the grower and eating it the same day than buying corn in the large grocery stores, after it has been hydro-cooled and shipped from Timbaktoo (I think there is such place:).
Here is some trivia about corn, read if you are interested, skip if you are not:
♦ Corn (maize) is a grain crop and produced world wide in larger quantities than any other grain.
♦ There are more than 50 different species of corn, white and yellow being the most common.
♦ An average ear of corn contains 16 rows, 800 kernels and one silk.
♦ An acre of corn clears 8 tons of carbon dioxide from the air (no offence to meat eaters but think what cows emit in comparison. Go vegetarian, save the world).
♦ USA is the largest grower of corn in the world, producing more than 30% of the world’s corn crop.
♦ 80% of the corn produced in the US is used in feed for livestock, o[poultry and fish. Since when fish eat corn?
♦ After wheat and rice, corn is the third most important food crop worldwide and the most fundamental staple food in Africa and Central America (90% of white corn consumption). Civilizations could not have survived without it.
♦ Corn has wide industrial use and is used in close to 4000 industrial products from ethanol to ink, drywall, dyes, toothpaste and thousands others (yes, thousands, not a typo).
How to grill the corn cobs? I have a shortcut, by cooking them first in the microwave in just a little bit of water, covered with a paper towel. Once they are cooked, I place them on a hot grill to get the grill marks and brown a bit. Don’t throw away leftover corn. If I have leftover cobs remove the kernels by scraping them off with a sharp knife into a bowl. You can then use them in salads, simply with butter, in tacos and more.
For this recipe you can grill the corn plain (without the chilli butter) and then add olive oil and lime juice as the dressing for the salad.
Are you up for it? Go ahead and grill some corn. Make my day.
6 ears corn
2 cups cooked black beans (can use canned)
2 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
A handful chives, chopped
Juice from 1 lime
1/4 red onion, diced (1/3 cup)
1 small red pepper, diced into small dice (I didn’t have any but would add)
1 small yellow or orange pepper, diced into small dice
A few red cherry tomatoes, halved
Soften the butter a few seconds in the microwave, then mix with the chilli powder, paprika and salt.
Husk the corn and brush all over with the soft chilli butter.
Grill the corn until some of the kernels are charred, then let cool.
Remove kernels off the cob with a sharp knife into a bowl.
Add the black beans.
Add whatever additional ingredients you are using (red pepper, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers etc.)
Add the green onion, parsley and chives.
Add lime juice and salt to taste.
Sprinkle additional chilli powder over and serve with a wedge of fresh lime.