Finding a roadside farmer’s produce stand is a pleasant surprise when you’re out for a drive enjoying the warmer weather and budding trees. Just-picked vegetables feed the craving for fresh foods after a winter using frozen or canned vegetables. Fresh vegetables lighten up any dish and add great texture. You can make your dishes really stand out by mixing fresh ingredients with fully cooked beans and you’ll find a nice contrast between the creamy beans and the crunchy vegetables. Try out mixing a variety of  fresh vegetables together to discover your favorite combinations which you can use to make memorable meals.

This corn and pinto bean salsa makes a great condiment to grilled chicken or fish instead of using bottled sauces. Crunchy fresh corn and meaty pinto beans give the salsa a contrast of textures you won’t find in jarred salsa. Two kinds of peppers give the salsa layers of heat and flavor. Fresh jalapeno pepper is the stronger of the two peppers and gives the salsa a spicy bite while the mild green chilies provide more of a background flavor. Cilantro adds a  big burst of flavor when used fresh but loses its strength when dried so try to use fresh whenever possible in your dishes. You can also substitute fresh flat-leaf parsley for cilantro if you find the taste of fresh cilantro soapy. This recipe makes about four cups so you can use it to give almost any dish a boost of flavor and texture. Try adding it to a salad or as part of a burrito and of course it tastes great with tortilla chips.

Corn and Pinto Bean Salsa

Corn and Pinto Bean Salsa

Ingredients

  • 4 ears corn on the cob, cooked (or 1 10-ounce pkg. of frozen corn)
  • 1 24-ounce jar Randall Pinto Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh jalapeño pepper, (or to taste)
  • 1 4-ounce can chopped mild green chilies
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet salad onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • Salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Cut the corn from the cob. Gently toss together the corn with the Randall Pinto Beans, peppers, onion, cilantro, chili powder. Whisk together the oil and vinegar. Add to the salsa.
  2. Salt to taste. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
  3. Makes about 4 cups.
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What better way to add some heat to the Indiana cold than with some salsa. I would suggest adding diced jalapenos to spruce up this recipe a bit. If you’re feeling even spicier, try roasting some Serrano peppers and dicing them. My personal favorite: raw habaneros. Careful cutting these little devils – they’re so hot that the oil may burn those with sensitive skin.

Salsa goes great on it’s own as a snack or appetizer. The addition of beans gives you the protein and flavor-boost that your body and heart desire. Don’t disappoint yourself by purchasing low-quality beans. Quality beans come in glass jars. Invest in the best.

 

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