If you are tailgating one fall weekend, here’s a sensational salad to bring joy to your eyes. Especially if your team is bringing tears to those eyes. [I live in New York, the Giants and 1-2, and it looks downhill to December!].

The secret to this salad is its barrage of the flavors we all seem to love: corn, onion, pepper, lemon, cilantro, tomatoes and black beans. Yes, you’ve had them all before, but this combination has a great balance of ingredients and an abundance of flavor. It’s an ideal side companion for burgers, chicken, or steaks. This recipe says it serves 8, but you may find your dinner companions double dipping their spoons for more.

This dish is easily prepared ahead of time and brought to your table or your tailgate whenever you are ready. Try this with the end of summer corn, the ears that have soaked in all that sun and now are filled with sugary sweetness.

Black Bean, Corn and Tomato Salad

Yield: 8 servings:


  • 3 ears fresh corn, shucked (about 3 cups)
  • 4 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced small
  • ½ red onion, diced small
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chipotle peppers, diced small
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons. fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup goat cheese, crumbled for garnish
  • 1 avocado, diced small, for garnish


Rinse and drain the black beans, place in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.

Working over a second mixing bowl, shuck the corn ears collecting, the kernels and discarding the ears.

Place a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter, when melted, add the corn kernels and sauté until crisp-tender, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. When cooled, add the corn to the beans.

To the bean mixture, add the diced tomatoes, red onion, scallions, jalapeno, chipotle peppers, lemon juice and olive oil; stir well to incorporate. Season to taste with salt and pepper and mix in the cilantro.

To serve, divide among serving plates, garnish with diced avocado and crumbled goat cheese.

Source: Cooking by the Book, 2005