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Red Bean and Corn Salad




"To make a good salad is to be a brilliant diplomat - the problem is entirely the
same in both cases. To know how much oil to mix in with one's vinegar.

~ Oscar Wilde

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Red Bean and Corn Salad
Tom Fitzmorris

"My wife Mary Ann found this in a great book called 'Summertime Treats: Recipes and Crafts for the Whole Family' by Sara Perry (Chronicle Books), full of recipes and ideas for homes with kids. (We wear it out.) Sara's recipe was made with black beans and a Southwestern taste. I fooled around with it a little and came up with this variation. This becomes a fantastic recipe if you ever get your hands on some fresh beans.
I did this one a few weeks ago on the radio, and have had many calls for it ever
since. I also served it as a side dish to some barbecued Cornish hens at a dinner
I did last weekend, and even though the attendees had already downed eight
courses before they got to that, they put it all away."

Serves eight.

1/2 cup olive oil
Juice of two limes
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon spicy paprika
1/2 teaspoon celery seed

 2 cups dried red beans, or 3 cups fresh
2 cups corn (fresh or frozen)
1 each red and yellow bell pepper,
seeded and chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 large ripe tomato, finely cubed
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves

1. If you're using dried beans, sort through them first to remove dirt and
bad ones, then rinse. Boil in water only until they're tender, but not
even beginning to fall apart. Drain and cool.
2. Make the dressing by whisking all the dressing ingredients together
and refrigerating. If you can make it an hour or more ahead of
time, the flavors will blend well.
3. Toss all the vegetables except the tomato and the cilantro in a bowl.
Pour the dressing over the top, add the tomato and cilantro, and
 toss again. This gets distinctly better if it sits about a half-hour
before serving.

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