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Enjoy San Joaquin Valley Living

Toasted Corn and Black Bean Salad with Creamy Cilantro Dressing

Aug 25, 2017 11:00AM ● By Lana Granfors

What's Cookin'

By Lana Granfors
Photo by Kara Stewart
September 2017

This is a great dinner salad to make ahead and have waiting in the refrigerator, ready to serve up after your work day or after a family weekend hike. It’s great as a vegetarian dish, or add diced grilled chicken or whole shrimp if you would like. You can grill 3 large corn cobs and cut off the kernels, but in this version, we are using either canned corn or frozen corn kernels. Makes for easy prep!

Serve with garnishes listed, and warm corn tortillas or crispy tortilla chips.     



¹⁄³ cup pine nuts

1 T extra-virgin olive oil

2 cup canned corn, drained and rinsed or frozen corn kernels, thawed and rinsed

¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice, about 1 or 2 limes 

¼ cup heavy cream

2 T extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, more for garnish 

½ tsp. salt 

¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper

2 15 oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 large tomato, diced

½ cup minced red onion

2 cup shredded cabbage

¼ crumbled Cotija cheese, more for garnish

1 large avocado, diced 

Garnishes (additional to above quantities): 
crumbled Cotija cheese, chopped cilantro, lime wedges 


Prep time: 20-25 minutes

Cook time: 5-9 minutes

Total Time: 25-34 minutes


STEP 1: Start by toasting pine nuts. Place pine nuts in a dry, heavy skillet over medium-low heat and cook, stirring until fragrant and lightly browned, about 2 – 4 minutes. Remove to a plate and allow the pine nuts to cool. If serving salad later, seal pine nuts in a plastic zip-top bag or covered bowl, once cooled.  

STEP 2: In the same heavy skillet, heat 1 T olive oil. Add corn kernels, stirring occasionally until lightly browned, about 3 – 5 minutes. Turn off heat, remove corn from skillet and place into a large bowl. Allow to cool.  

STEP 3: For the dressing, whisk lime juice, heavy cream, and olive oil together. Stir in the cilantro, and the salt and pepper. If not serving immediately, place dressing in refrigerator until ready to toss with the salad.  

STEP 4: To the bowl of toasted corn kernels, add black beans, diced tomato, red onion, shredded cabbage and the Cotija cheese. Lastly, add the diced avocado and lightly toss until coated. If serving immediately, toss salad with dressing and serve with garnishes. And if using diced chicken or shrimp, add to the salad before dressing.