I was at a local cooking store a few weeks ago and as I was checking out a small cookbook caught my eye: Skinny Dips, which contains recipes for relatively light dips and salsas. I bought it and have tried two recipes so far. I liked the recipe for edamame and tofu dip, but the recipe for “Fiery Black Bean, Roasted Corn, and Jicama Salsa” was terrific. I followed the recipe fairly closely. The main changes I made were to substitute fresh lemon juice for lime-juice (and increased the amount of juice called for in the recipe), I increased the amount of jicama (I didn’t have any use for the leftover jicama), I soaked the red onion before using it to cut the sharpness a bit, added an extra scallion, and skipped the jalapeno pepper.
I loved the tart dressing with the crunchy sweet jicama, and the softer beans and grilled corn. If you’re sensitive to salt, you might want to reduce the salt just a bit but I liked the slight saltiness of the dressing. My first thought when I tried the salsa (which I treated as a salad) was that it would be great with shrimp. So, for dinner tonight, I made a batch of the dressing which I used to marinate the shrimp for about 30 minutes before grilling them.
I recently replaced my old (small) grill with a larger model, and have been grilling some things I’ve never grilled before. I know that grilling corn and seafood isn’t uncommon, but I’m still learning the ropes. The grilled corn turned out really well, though in my attempt to wind up with a crispy caramelized coating on the shrimp, I overcooked them a bit. I decided to help the shrimp out by throwing together a homemade cocktail sauce (about 1/4 cup finely minced onion, 1/2 cup organic ketchup, juice from one lemon and horseradish – I used 1 Tbsp. but I love hot cocktail sauce).
Next time I’ll know to be more careful with the shrimp. Still, this was a relatively quick satisfying dinner – with leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
I rounded out the meal with a second ear of grilled local corn and a steamed yellow beet (also from my local farmer).
Carefully pull away the husk from the ear of corn without removing it. Clean the silk from the corn, then lightly brush it with olive oil (I used my olive oil mister to spray it, which made it very easy). Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the corn, and replace the husk. (If you don’t want to bother with this, you can always wrap the corn in foil, but I don’t think it turns out quite as well this way.) Grill over medium-high heat until the kernels are soft, turning every several minutes. This will take about 15 minutes. Once the corn has cooled, carefully cut the kernels from the cob with a sharp knife. (I like to cut the ear in half so that I have a flat stable surface to hold the corn while I cut away the kernels.)
I plan to grill a bunch of corn, then freeze the kernels so that I can make this salad over the winter.
Dressing (this is enough for the salad – if you also want to use it as a marinade for shrimp or something else, double the recipe and then use half for the salad)
Combine in a medium bowl:
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 2 tsp. light brown sugar, packed
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. salt
Whisk to combine and dissolve the salt and brown sugar.
Add to the bowl with the dressing:
- 1 can black beans, rinsed well and drained
- kernels from one ear of grilled corn (see above)
- 1 small red onion, diced (I soak the diced onion in cold water for about 5 minutes and then drain well before adding to the salad – this makes it a bit milder. I’ve also found that this keeps the onion from getting soft and smelly longer than if you add it directly to the salad without soaking.)
- 1 small jicama – about 1 pound – peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice. (I don’t use a vegetable peeler – I save time by cutting away the outside edges of the jicama so that I wind up with a peeled cube. This wastes a bit of it, but saves time and makes it easier to cut into a uniform dice. I do the same thing when I dice potatoes.)
- 3 scallions or spring onions, cut into 1/4-inch slices (or smaller)
- chopped cilantro to taste (I use about 1/2 cup packed, but I like cilantro)
Toss to combine, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight. This should keep pretty well for at least two or three days.