Black Bean and Corn Salad

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All those folks who were lamenting mid-August that our Minnesota summer was over certainly should have known better. Any Minnesotan worth their Lutefisk (Google it) expects a heat wave during the State Fair that runs the last week of August through Labor Day. And that heat wave has arrived, along with oppressive humidity that gives Hotlanta a run for the title—how about Minnes-Hota?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJust in time for the State Fair and just in time for our vacation. Fortunately, the last half of our vacation will be spent up on the North Shore of Lake Superior, where all summer long it’s at least 20 degrees cooler than it is at home. What a welcome respite it will be!

Even though we have central air conditioning, I found out this morning when baking a loaf of chocolate chip banana bread to take to the cabin, when it’s this hot out, using the oven in the middle of the day just isn’t a good idea. Our AC is really struggling to keep up. So a no-cook dinner was a must!

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Another Sunday morning foray to the farmers’ market restocked our sweet corn supply so I decided to make that center stage in a salad. Lots of corn, fresh off the cob, earthy black beans, and a medley of fresh veggies in a dressing with a smoky spice from the addition of cumin and chili powder—hot weather perfection! Add a couple glasses of chilled Rosé, and we’ve got ourselves a vacation dinner! Cheers!

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Corn and Black Bean Salad
adapted from Food to Live By

1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
Fresh kernels sliced from two ears sweet corn
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
½ a small red bell pepper, diced
½ a small green bell pepper, diced
A handful of cherry tomatoes of various colors, diced (about 1 cup)
½ to ¾ cup diced sweet onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leafed parsley

Dressing:
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chili powder (homemade is best)
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon organic sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine black beans, corn, cucumber, red and green bell pepper, tomato, onion, and parsley in a large bowl.

Whisk together dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Pour dressing over the bean & corn mixture and toss to coat. Serves 4 to 6. Enjoy!

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