THE CORVALLIS CARROT
Grilled Corn Salsa
3 ears of grilled corn
1/2 c black beans
1 heirloom tomato
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 serano pepper
1/2 red onion
3 T grapeseed oil
1/8 t salt
4 cracks of pepper from mill
small bunch of cilantro
approximately 4 cups
Yesterday I had a BBQ and I grilled a bunch of veggies and some chicken. I also grilled some corn. However, when it came time to serve everything I forgot to put the corn out, and left it in the grill with the lid down. (I was keeping it in there to keep warm, good thinking huh?) Anyway after everyone was gone I was cleaning up and lifted the lid to the grill realizing what I had done. What is one to do with 6 ears of corn? Hmmmm. Out of 3 ears, corn salsa, and as for the rest I'll figure something out. I don't have the pictures for grilling the corn, but it's really simple if you have a grill. Wrap the corn (still in husk) in aluminum foil. Throw it in a hot grill for about 20 minutes. If you don't have a grill you can also throw it in a 400 degree oven for the same amount of time. It will be steaming when you go to peal off the husk, so you might want to let it cool a bit. This is a great side, I love pairing it with grilled chicken or flank steak. It's also great wrapped up in a tortilla with shredded lettuce. However you eat it, it's a great way to use leftover corn you have lying around after a BBQ.
Gather together all of your ingredients, and a mixing bowl. Add you dice ingredients add them straight to the bowl.
Start by dicing your onion. Lay onion on the flat side (where you cut it in half) and slice horizontally, then vertically. Do not cut all the way to the root, this way the onion will stay intact as you dice.
You don't want the onion too small, or too large.
Next, dice the red pepper. You want the pieces slightly larger than the onion.
When dicing the tomato, use a serated knife if you do not have a sharp chef's knife. You will damage the tomato if you smash it down trying to cut through the skin. Lay the tomato top down and slice the bottom into a grid pattern. Then lay on its side and dice. The sharper the kinfe, the better. You can use regular tomatoes, but heirlooms just have more substance to them, and less juice.
Squeeze the lime juice (rolling lime under your hand before cutting in half will break the cells, making it easier to squeeze) and add the oil, salt and pepper. Adding extra acidity and oil to the mixture of tomatoes, peppers and onions is going to extract their juices and create a viniagrette.
Next, dice the serrano pepper. I only added a half because my daughter isn't a fan of heat, but if you like things with a little more kick, add more pepper. The seeds are the spiciest part of the pepper, so if you don't want it too spicy, don't add them. Hot peppers are a lot like salt in that it's a lot easier to add more, but once you've added too much it's a lot harder to fix.
Add to the mixture.
IMPORTANT: After dealing with any type of hot pepper, wash your hands! The oil from the pepper will stay on your hands and if you rub your eyes it can burn them, so it's very important to wash the oil off of your hands before touching anything.
Roughly chop cilantro and add to mixture. As the mixture sits more and more flavors will begin to marry.
I like the bigger chunks of multiple kernals, it reminds me of when I was really little and our parents would cut our corn for us.
Slice the kernals off of the corn cobs. You can either do this horizontally, or if it's easier, stand the cobs up and cut down.
Add the corn to the bowl.
Rinse and strain beans. Measure out 1/2 cup. If you want to add the whole can, go for it. I usually make a bean dip out of the remaining can by adding salsa verde to the beans and pureeing.
Add the beans to the mixture and give a toss.
The longer you let this sit, the more flavors will blend. I normally let it sit for at least 20 minutes before serving.
I like to slice the avocado and have it on the side, because sometimes if I toss it with the salad it starts to break down. It will still taste delcious if you dice the avocado and toss it together with the salsa, it's just my preference to have it on the side. When buying an avocado you want to make sure that it is firm, but squeezable. Does that make sense? One that is too soft is overly ripe and is not going to taste good, and one that is rock hard isn't ripe enough and you won't be able to get it out of its skin. The perfect avocado will be firm, but will indent slightly when you push your finger into it, and the skin will come off perfectly when you peel it back. Avocados are amazing, but you have to know how to pick the right ones.
I finished this off with just a little bit more lime juice, the corn was super sweet, but there you have it, corn salsa. Enjoy.