Every great cookout needs some great side dishes, and I always like to be certain I’ve got my bases covered with an array that will please the wide variety of dietary restrictions imposed upon my menu. So this hearty vegan-friendly (and GF) salad, full of protein and fiber-rich black beans, makes a great partner to any Tex-Mex barbecue or outdoor summer party.
Grilled sweet corn and red bell peppers add a splash of color…and for a pop of heat just add a few jalapenos to the grill alongside the bell peppers, seed them and chop them and add them to the salad. Ripe chunks of avocado add a cooling, creamy, luxurious texture and a bright lime-based dressing with chopped fresh cilantro and peppery shallot is a zingy finishing touch.
You can easily turn this into a meal by serving it atop a mound of chopped romaine lettuce, then adding chopped grilled steak or chicken (which would take it out of vegan-friendly territory but leave it in GF-world).
Recipe: Grilled Corn, Red Pepper, Black Bean and Avocado Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette
Makes about 6 servings (as a side dish)
- 2 (15-oz) cans organic black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 ears corn, shucked
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 2 ripe avocados, peeled, stone removed, and diced
- Kosher salt
- Juice of 1 1/2 limes
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus more leaves for garnish
- 2 tbsp minced shallot
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- Set up a gas or charcoal grill for medium-high heat. Coat the corn and pepper in olive oil and then grill the vegetables until charred. Transfer to a cutting board. Cut the kernels from the corn and place in a shallow serving bowl.
- Peel the pepper, remove and discard the stem and seeds, and chop the pepper into small pieces. Add to the serving bowl with the beans and corn, season with a little salt.
- In a jar, combine the dressing ingredients, tighten the lid, and shake wildly until well combined.
- Drizzle some of the dressing over the bean mixture in the serving bowl, and toss to combine. Add the avocado and toss gently, garnish with more cilantro, then serve, passing more dressing alongside.