Jennifer Segal graduated from culinary school and spent the early years of her career working in the high-pressure kitchens of fancy restaurants. She realized that way of life wasn’t for her, so when she started a family, she stayed home and started a food blog, Once Upon a Chef (www.onceuponachef.com), which features family-friendly recipes that are created with a chef’s expertise.
Her recipes are now collected in a cookbook of the same name — “Once Upon a Chef: 100 Tested, Perfected and Family-Approved Recipes.” Segal says she used the readers of her blog as volunteers to test recipes and help her decide which to include in the book.
In the introduction for this Black Bean & Corn Salad, Segal describes it as a make-ahead crowd pleaser that’s perfect for summer entertaining.
“Whether I serve it as a salad with grilled chicken or as a dip with tortilla chips (highly recommend!),” she writes, “the bowl is always empty and the plates are always full.”
Black Bean & Corn Salad With Chipotle Honey Vinaigrette
For the salad
2 ears fresh corn
1 cup finely chopped red onion
One 15½-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped, plus a bit more for garnish
For the dressing
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from 1 lime
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 small chipotle chiles in adobo sauce from a can (see note)
To make the salad: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the corn, cover and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the corn from the pot and let cool.
Meanwhile, place the chopped red onion in a small bowl and cover with water. Let sit for about 10 minutes, then drain completely in a sieve and set aside.
One at a time, holding the cooled corn upright in a large bowl, cut the kernels off the cobs in strips.
Add the beans, onion, bell pepper and cilantro to the corn.
To make the dressing: In a blender or mini food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine all of the dressing ingredients and process until smooth.
Pour the dressing over the bean and corn mixture and toss well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or preferably overnight.
Right before serving, cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Using a butter knife, cut a grid in each half. Holding each avocado half over the salad, use a spoon to scoop out the diced flesh. Toss the salad gently, then taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary (I usually add a squeeze of fresh lime to freshen it up). Garnish with a bit of fresh chopped cilantro, if desired. Serve cold.
Note: Canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce are small dried and smoked peppers (usually red jalapeños) that come in a spicy, smoky tomato sauce. You can find them in the Latin section of most supermarkets. Once you open a can, you can transfer any remaining chiles to a plastic or glass container and store in the refrigerator for up to a month, or freeze in a sealable plastic bag for up to 6 months.
Reprinted with permission from “Once Upon a Chef by Jennifer Segal”; Chronicle Books, 2018