On my last day at work before taking a week-long vacation, the thermometer topped 100 degrees in Sacramento. I made three salads for lunch as a replacement for soup. I usually forgo the soup once it gets over 95 degrees.
My "salad fest" included a black bean and corn salad. Instead of consulting recipe resources in my office, I tossed the salad together as I found appropriate ingredients in the refrigerator and pantry.
I also served a vegetable salad made with a 4-pound bag of Sysco California blend vegetables. To prepare, I blanched the vegetable in boiling water for a few minutes, drained and cooled in ice water. The cold vegetables were then tossed in a couple cups of Italian dressing.
A tossed romaine salad rounded out the menu. The main course consisted of cheese tortellini with marinara sauce.
The residents loved the salad offerings. "That black bean salad was hecka good," said one of the older ladies. A second resident added this note: "Have I ever told you how much I love that stuff?"
BLACK BEAN AND CORN SALAD
Use 3-1/4 cups frozen corn, 6 Roma tomatoes, 1/2 large red onion and 1 large red bell pepper if you don't have a scale.
2 (28-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 pound frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
1 pound tomatoes, seeded and diced
8 ounces chopped red onion
8 ounces diced red bell pepper
3 jalapeno chili peppers, minced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Combine beans, corn, tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, jalapenos and cilantro in large bowl. Toss to mix well.
Combine oregano, paprika, cumin, garlic, salt, black pepper and vinegar in small bowl. Add olive oil to vinegar mixture and whisk to combine. Drizzle dressing over salad and stir to combine.
Recipe yields about 3-1/2 quarts or 25 (1/2-cup) portions.
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