I'm making salsa for Christmas presents this year. I usually try to do something crafty or food-related because
there are so many people I want to recognize or thank, it can get really expensive to buy stuff for each person. So, this year it's salsa and cookies.
I had this salsa for the first time two summers ago at a cookout. My friend and I literally sat over the serving bowl with spoons and ate it, it's that good. After everyone had already gone through the line, of course, because otherwise that would be crazy double-dipping. Since then I've made it every 2-3 months. Once I get done with the recipe, it makes at least 8-10 pint sized bell jars which I then proceed to eat all by myself. I sometimes think about sharing and then I just think… no. I turn into a starving dog on the street, growling, snarling, and snapping at anything that comes near my steak bone.
I usually double or triple all the ingredients except the onion, beans and corn plus I add extra jalapeños and throw in a habanero for kick. I also sometimes roast the peppers (bell and jalapeño), onion and garlic along with the corn.
For me, I think it's the cilantro, lime and cumin that put this salsa in a league of its own. I've never had anything like it and I never get tired of it. If I leave out the avocados, I will sometimes cook it with eggs in the morning or heat it up and serve it over pasta. Yummy. I also usually eat it right out of the jar and skip the chips.
ROASTED CORN AND BLACK BEAN SALAD
1 lb. package Niblets frozen corn, thawed
2 to 3 tbsp. oil
1 tbsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cumin
6 tbsp. fresh lime juice
5 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
1 c. chopped fresh cilantro (keep some for garnish, too)
1/2 c. red onion
3 Italian plum tomatoes (3/4 c.)
2 jalapeno chiles, seeded & finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped (1 c.)
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 large avocados, peeled & cut into 1/2 inch pieces (2 c.)
red leaf lettuce
Heat oven to 450 degrees.
In medium bowl, combine corn and 2 to 3 tablespoons oil: toss to coat.
Spread corn in ungreased 15x10x1 inch baking pan.
Bake at 450 degrees for 18-22 minutes or until corn turns light golden brown; stirring every 5 to 10 minutes; cool 10 minutes.
In small jar with tight fitting lid, combine all dressing ingredients.
Shake until well blended.
In large bowl, combine chopped cilantro, onion, tomatoes, chiles, bell peppers, garlic, beans and roasted corn; mix well.
Add dressing; mix well.
Add avocadoes; toss gently.
Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 6 hours.*
To serve, line serving bowl with lettuce. Spoon salad over lettuce.
Garnish with cilantro sprigs.
* To make more than 6 hours in advance, add chopped cilantro, dressing and
avocados just before serving.