It’s easily been over a year since I saw the episode of Barefoot Contessa where Ina makes this salad. I know that, because it’s been at least that long since I’ve watched Food Network.
I mentally bookmarked this recipe way back then, and I finally got around to making it. I’m so annoyed it took me so long, because this salad was pretty great. It had a nice tang from the lime zest, and was really fresh and crisp (especially with tomatoes finally starting to taste good again). I didn’t really make any changes to this salad other than to substitute green bell pepper for the yellow (because that’s what I had on hand) and add corn. I added the corn because in my head, the recipe already had it in there. When I scanned the ingredient list to check the amount, I realized I had made it up all along. But, it seemed like a great addition to this salad, and it was. And yeah, I know, corn isn’t in guacamole – but neither are black beans, right?
As you can see, I opted not to halve the tomatoes because I made the first part of the salad (without the avocado) earlier in the day. I didn’t really want tomato mush to permeate through the salad, and it’s not like grape tomatoes are too big to eat in one bite, so I probably wouldn’t bother halving them next time around, either.
In addition to eating this plain, it also made a great relish, of sorts, atop a chile-dusted chicken breast.
I liked this salad so much that I ended up making a very similar pasta salad for lunches this week. I omitted the avocados since they don’t really keep well once diced, and added a little bit of cheddar, a little salsa, and a couple spoonfuls of sour cream. Much better than the usual salads around my work, which are $12 a pop and nothing to write home about.
Adapted from Ina Garten
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved (or not)
1 bell pepper, seeded and diced into 1/2″ pieces
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2/3 cup corn
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
2 Tbsp. minced jalapeño peppers (about 2 peppers)
1/2 tsp. lime zest
1/4 cup lime juice (2-3 limes)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 ripe Haas avocados
Place the tomatoes, bell pepper, black beans, corn, red onion, jalapeño, and lime zest in a large bowl.
Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic and cayenne. Pour over the vegetables and toss well.
Just before you’re ready to serve the salad, dice and gently fold in the avocados. Re-season if necessary.