Mom's Corn Salsa


Salsa!!!! Oh how I love me some fresh zingy saucy salsa. It's just so tasty and cool, especially during warm sunny afternoons. Years ago, my mom came up with this recipe that's completely different from the traditional pico de gallo that you get at restaurants. She whipped together this special Corn Salsa that brings together the best flavors of summer.

Before it became all the rage, I remember eating Corn Salsa with fajitas for dinner and as a tasty app with chips. Then one time my mom made it when her friends came over and "the ladies" wouldn't stop raving about "the Corn Salsa!" Everyone asked if it was going to be served when they'd come over. If we were bringing a dish for a pot luck, you better bet Corn Salsa was their request. You'd think with all of the Corn Salsa appearances that I'd gotten sick of it, but I think I only started loving it more and more each time. The great thing about this recipe is you really can make it year round with veggies you find at the super market. If corn isn't in season, then frozen corn really isn't a bad substitute.

When my friend invited us over for a vegetarian BBQ (our kind of BBQ!!!) he told us to bring some sort of appetizer. I'd just started seeing fresh ears of corn at the market, and knew it was time to initiate Chris and my friends to the infamous Corn Salsa. I made sure to grab some homemade tortilla chips at the market too, which always makes the salsa sing.


Mom's Corn Salsa 
Makes a big serving of salsa!

1 can black beans, drained
2 ears white corn, husked
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
2 handfuls cherry tomatoes (about 2 cups)
1/4 red onion, diced
1/4 bunch cilantro
1 lemon, juiced
Salt + pepper 
Garlic powder
Olive oil


Drain beans and rinse, then place them in a large bowl. Chop your bell peppers and add to a pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Cook for a few minutes on medium-high heat to begin to soften and char the peppers. Add a few shakes of paprika and a dash of cayenne to finish them off. They should still have a slight crunch to them when they're done. Let cool.

Shuck your corn making sure to get all the little hairs off, and place on your stove with the burner on. You might hear the kernels pop a little, but don't worry! It won't turn to popcorn if you rotate the ears every 20 seconds or so. Turn until all the sides are roasted and have black blistered kernels. If you've got a grill, go ahead and grill them (even better!) If you've got an electric stove, then don't worry about this step, you can just microwave your corn to cook it lightly for a few minutes.If you've got frozen corn, just be sure to nuke about 2 cups of kernels with some water until thawed and cooked.

To cut the fresh corn, off the cob, I like to place it in a wide shallow bowl and cut carefully down the length until all the kernels land nicely in your bowl. Once cut, add corn to your bean mixture along with the bell peppers which should be cooled down by now.

Chop 1/4 of a red onion into and slice tomatoes in half or quarters, and add them all to the bowl. Chop your cilantro roughly to break up the leaves and get that fresh flavor into the salsa. To finish, add a little garlic powder, plenty of salt and pepper, and juice your lemons (or lime if you'd like) over the veggies. Toss it all together and you get Corn Salsa! If you'd like it chilled, then I'd recommend putting it in the fridge for at least an hour after it's prepared. If you don't care, then grab some chips and dig in! 

Another alternative I tried for a friend's potluck is adding fresh feta cheese crumbles and avocado. They add a richness to the salsa that make it a little more filling and creamy. I'd definitely recommend it if you've got those ingredients on hand. Goat or cojita cheese would also be good substitutes (maybe even better!) I'd also recommend adding the Corn Salsa to quinoa or couscous for a nice side dish or topping your grilled veggies, meats, or fish with the delicious mixture.