Sunday, March 1, 2009

Tex-Mex Mosaic Salad

Standing at the supermarket deli counter, in a zombie-like stupor watching my provolone being sliced, I happened to turn my gaze to the selection of prepared salads behind the glass, when culinary lightning struck. Instead of the usual array of white foods (cole slaw, macaroni salad, pasta salad, potato salad and that strange and pallid, cabbagey "health salad") all drenched in the same dreary, chemical-tasting dressing, I saw a few enticements. One was an Edamame Salad studded with corn kernels, tomato chunks and black beans. It was beautiful and I thought to myself "Hey Crispy, you could do that back home with your home-grown vegetable babies and serve it forth".

So I did.

I was so transported, I had to go back and rescue my abandoned provolone, as I hurried back to the Crispy Casita to experiment. Black beans and corn demanded a Tex-Mex dressing and I thought immediately of my blogger buddy, Gloria Chadwick, whose newest cookbook, "The Foods and Flavors of San Antonio", has just been published. Gloria is celebrating all March long with a Fiesta of Foods and Flavors featuring recipes from many different bloggers. I am dedicating this recipe to Gloria, for her wonderful food fiesta event, which will include a boatload of recipes, prizes (including copies of her cookbook!) and lots of Texas-sized fun.

Tex-Mex Mosaic Salad

I am lucky to have a freezer full of corn, cilantro, and edamame from our garden, which I thawed for the freshest flavor, but use whatever canned or frozen substitutions are available to you as suggested below.

2 cups cooked black beans (I soaked 1/2 lb. dried black beans overnight, then drained and put them in a pot with fresh water and simmered until they were tender, about 30 minutes. This made three cups of cooked beans, so I set aside the extra cupful for use later). You could also use 1 (14.5 oz.) can of black beans, drained

1 cup diced tomatoes (fresh or most of a 14.5 oz can)

1-1/2 cups steamed edamame (soybeans, can be found in freezer section or natural foods sections of grocery stores)

2 cups corn kernels


2 Tbsp. minced cilantro (I mince up cilantro in season and freeze it with little water in ice cube trays, then pop out cubes when frozen to store in baggies in the freezer)

1/3 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. hot pepper sauce (or to taste)
1 tsp. garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Gently mix beans, tomatoes, edamame and corn in medium sized bowl.

Blend remaining ingredients together in separate bowl. Pour enough of this dressing over to moisten salad (don't dump the entire amount in at first like I did, which made things a little too juicy). Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours to mingle flavors.

Serves 8.

This salad makes a wonderful meal paired with steamed rice, tortilla chips and a green salad. It is so colorful and would be a great party dish, as it can sit at room temperature for awhile without spoiling.

I am so happy that Gloria's book has been published and am especially delighted to have just won a copy of "Foods and Flavors of San Antonio" as the cool prize for being Gloria's February Chili Cook-Off Winner. I can't wait for it to arrive, so I can salivate over the Mexican Brownies and Chipotle Shrimp and all the other tempting recipes.


Gloria Chadwick said...

I love how colorful your salad is. Black beans, corn, and tomatoes all taste wonderful together, and the addition of edamame beans is brilliant! Thanks for sharing it at my Fiesta. I'll post it on Salsa Day. :)

Thistlemoon said...

That is awesome! I love getting inspiration like that and then going home and cooking it up! Looks great!

Karen Brown Letarte said...

What a great salad idea! I might even get my DC to eat it as a main dish! :) How wonderful that you can grow your own veggies and edamame.

:) Karen

NĂºria said...

This salad looks super fresh and home grown ingredients are the best!!! Yes, you are lucky :D

FOODalogue said...

You're too funny. Love the lead-in...and the salad looks mighty tasty too.

Laurie said...

What a wonderful and healthy salad! I love getting inspired like that and then creating my own recipes!

Your salted seaweed salad looks quite intriguing, but my kids wouldn't touch that either. I wish I had ethnic markets near me so I could experiment like you.

Alicia Foodycat said...

That looks amazing! I had a (bought) edamame salad for dinner tonight.