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Black Bean and Corn Salad or Salsa

Serves 4 to 6

I love bean salads, and this southwestern-style version is no exception. In addition to the great flavors, I really like that this recipe can double as a salsa, as indicated in the notes below. Either way, it is a quick, easy, healthy and delicious side dish or appetizer.

Black Bean and Corn Salad or Salsa Recipe Photo

Place the beans and vegetables in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Pour the dressing over the beans and vegetables. Taste for seasoning and adjust if desired. Chill until serving.

Notes: The salad can be served as a salsa just the way it is. However, I prefer to substitute lime juice for the vinegar and omit the celery. I always use low-sodium or no-salt-added canned beans and vegetables. For more heat, use a hotter chile powder or add a small jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped. If, like me, you do not care for cilantro, you can use fresh parsley. However, I usually use dried cilantro because it adds just a hint of flavor without the overpowering 'soapy' taste. This salad can be made several days ahead and refrigerated. Actually, the flavor benefits from an overnight stay in the refrigerator, but it is still very good served immediately.