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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 is or by changing a couple of the ingredients, as indicated in the variation below. Either way, it is a quick, easy, healthy and delicious side dish or appetizer. By the way, if you do not care for cilantro, you can use fresh parsley. I often use dried cilantro because it adds just a hint of flavor without the overpowering 'soapy' taste.

Black Bean and Corn Salad 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.

Salsa Variation: 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. If you want some heat, add a small jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped.

Notes: I always use low-sodium or no-salt-added canned beans. A chile powder with more heat, such as chipotle, can be used. 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.