Corn and black bean salad

A fantastic main course or side dish!

One of the things I love most about corn and beans is that when served together, they form a complete protein. My omnivores love this salad; so too do all the vegetarians I serve it to; I think the tasty lime-maple dressing is one of the main reasons. If you’ve got vegans at your table, simple serve the feta in a bowl so they can skip it and enjoy the salad as well. As a bonus, this dish is gluten free and the vegetables and dressing can be prepared ahead of time then assembled shortly before serving. If you can’t get your hands on fresh corn, substitute with 2 1/2 cups (412 g) of frozen corn; thaw and broil it on a baking tray until lightly charred.



  • 4 ears fresh corn on the cob
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) olive oil
  • 1 cup (52 g) red onion in 1/4 inch (.6 cm) dice
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) white vinegar
  • 1 19 oz (540 mL) can black beans
  • 1 cup (117 g) red bell pepper in 1/2 inch dice
  • 1/2 cup (31 g) fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (11 g) minced green onion


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) freshly-squeezed lime juice
    5 teaspoons (25 mL) apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon each kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (or more, to taste)


  • 1/2 cup (31 g) fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (75 g) crumbled feta (optional but delicious)
  • lime wedges


  • Brush corn lightly with olive oil and cook on a preheated grill (or in a 375F oven) until tender and just very lightly charred, about 20 minutes, turning occasionally. Alternatively, boil the cobs in water and then quickly give them a very light char under a broiler.
  • While corn is cooking, put diced red onions in a medium bowl with just enough iced water to cover them. Add vinegar; stir and let stand 30 minutes then drain extremely well. This step mellows the harsh flavour of the raw onion.
  • Also while corn is cooking, prepare dressing. Put 1 tablespoon of the oil in a small heatproof bowl and add minced garlic. Microwave for 30 seconds to par-cook the garlic and reduce its harsh taste. Set aside.
  • In a 1 cup/250 mL jar with a tight lid, combine lime juice, cider vinegar, maple syrup, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder. Shake to blend well. Add garlic and oil mixture plus remaining oil and shake again. Dressing can be made in advance and refrigerated for up to 48 hours.
  • When corn is cooked, remove kernels from cobs and place in a large bowl. Add drained onions to bowl. Rinse canned black beans very thoroughly under cold running water and drain well, then add to bowl with corn. Stir in red pepper, 1/2 cup chopped cilantro and minced green onions.
  • At this point, the salad can be covered and refrigerated for up to 48 hours.
  • About 30-60 minutes before serving, drizzle dressing over vegetables and gently toss to combine thoroughly.
  • Immediately before serving, garnish with additional chopped cilantro and feta, if using and offer lime wedges in a dish.

Serves 6-8.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

4 thoughts

  1. I always look at vinaigrettes and dressings when people post salads, cause they’re equally as important to me. And I love yours. Cumin is a must, and of course chipotle chile peppers have such a fabulous flavor!

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