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Victoria BC is considered the Paradise of Canada, because it never gets too cold, too hot, too rainy, too snowy or too anything! The weather is pretty mild out here, but somehow people still manage to complain about it. For example a few days ago the temperature went as high as 25° Celsius (77° Fahrenheit)! Wow, the horrors! It was so hot that I decided to make a salad. But I still wanted some heat in that salad. Not the temperature kind, but the spicy kind!
Trying to incorporate other beans into our salad other than chickpeas, I was inspired Mexican and came up with this recipe:
1 head of romaine lettuce
1 cup cooked black beans
1 ear of corn, shucked
1 red bell pepper
1 1/2 cups tortilla chips, crushed
1/2 cup lime juice (2 med. size lime)
Zest of one lime
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp agave syrup
a dash or more of tabasco (depending on how hot you like it)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cracked/crushed multicoloured or just black peppercorn
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried onions (optional)
For the dressing, I add everything in a measuring cup and whisk, taste and add more tabasco or agave syrup if it needs it.
And for the salad, well that’s really self explanatory…cut what needs to be cut, crush what needs to be crushed and shuck what needs to be shucked and dump it all in a big bowl and toss. Shuck you ask? Have you ever shucked a fresh ear of corn? well you are in for a treat my dear..
You can eat corn raw, especially if it’s really fresh, locally grown. If you insist on cooking it, you can cook it in a bowl with some water in the microwave for a minute or two, or cook the corn on the cob and then shuck it. To shuck, line a plate with a towel to collect the corn that falls (which otherwise will fly everywhere). Cut the tip off the cob to create a flat end and then while holding it vertically by the stem with a chef’s knife slice down at the root of the kernel freeing the niblets off the cob one slice at a time as you rotate around the cob.
The dressing is more than enough for one head of lettuce. You could save half the dressing for another salad or next time you are making guacamole. The tortilla chips absorb a lot of the dressing so don’t think you need more if there isn’t a pool of dressing at the bottom of your bowl!
Unfortunately midway making this I realised we didn’t have any tortilla chips, so I toasted a pita bread and crushed that in to the salad. It worked! I think it’s a pretty easy going salad, and can work with a lot of substitutions and/or additions. For example you could use a tomato instead of a bell pepper, or just add a tomato and/or a cucumber into the mix. Mmmm cucumber! I might do that next time!!