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Fresh Corn and Black Bean Salad with optional Daylilies

A big bowl of this sunny salad makes a perfect summer meal. Fresh corn gives it sweetness and snap, while the bright lemon dressing ties the flavors together. Serve it while the beans and corn are still warm for maximum contrast or keep it in the fridge to dish out when it's too hot to cook. Dress it up with a daylily or two for an Instagram-ready meal that's ready in 20 minutes.

Fresh Corn and Black Bean Salad with Daylilies

Active time: 20 minutes. Total time: 20 minutes with optional 1 hour or more for chilling. Serves 2. Vegan and gluten free.

2 ears fresh corn, husked and cut from the cob, about 1 1/2 cup kernels
1 1/2 cups home-cooked black beans or one 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed
3 tablespoons lemon salad dressing (see below)
1 small cucumber, quartered lengthwise and cut crossways into bite-sized pieces
1 large tomato, cored and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 /4 cup chopped green onion leaves
3 leaves fresh basil, cut into narrow ribbons
2 large chopped daylily flowers and 2 small whole daylily flowers for serving (optional)

salad dressing (makes 4 servings)

1/4 cup lemon juice (juice from one large lemon)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt

  1. Put fresh corn kernels and well-drained black beans in a microwave-safe container. Put ingredients for salad dressing in a small jar and shake to combine. Drizzle 2 tablespoons dressing over corn and beans and then toss to combine. Cover corn mixture and microwave on high for 3 minutes, until corn is barely cooked. Taste and add salt as needed.
  2. If serving at once, put corn mixture into serving bowls and artfully top with remaining ingredients. Drizzle each serving with an additional 1/2 tablespoon salad dressing. To serve chilled or later, toss corn mixture with cucumber, tomato, and green onion, cover, and refrigerate for one hour or up to three days. Stir salad before serving and then top and dress as above.

Fresh corn and black bean salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, green onion, and basil is a meal in a bowl

Recipe Notes

  • I grow perennial walking Egyptian onions, which are a wonderful alternative to green onions.
  • If you can't find fresh corn, use canned or frozen white shoepeg corn.
  • Read more about eating daylilies. They taste like the most tender lettuce ever and are good cooked too! Caution: as with any new food, start slowly. Make sure you are eating daylilies (Hemerocallis) not Asiatic lilies or something else.
  • Many thanks to my friend Jane Henderson for her bean and corn salad, a neighborhood favorite that inspired this recipe.

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