Visiting farmer's markets is one of my very favorite things about summer. It's the best way to buy the juiciest peaches, robust red tomatoes, perfect pickling cucumbers, peppers of every persuasion, and of course, corn on the cob, to name just a few favorites. This incredible fresh produce is only part of the package. Even better, you get to chat with those who grow your food, keep your money in your town, reduce travel costs for your food (and therefore environmental impact) and experience your community in a uniquely satisfying way. This year, I've been busy making peach butter, pickles of all kinds, salsa, and jams. I keep thinking I'm going to make corn relish, but somehow the leftover corn finds it's way into something else, such as this Cajun Corn Salad. Fresh and flavorful, adapt the spice level to suit yourself. A fresh or roasted poblano pepper ups the heat, or try a minced jalapeno. You may notice that there is no added oil to this salad, keeping it even lighter. This spiced-to-your-perfection salad is an ideal addition to any cookout or barbecue. It's a great make-ahead dish, and travels well, too!
Cajun Corn and Kidney Bean Salad
- Kernels from 4 ears cooked corn on the cob
- 1/2 cup green bell pepper or other pepper
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 1/4 cup diced moist-packed sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth, more if needed
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
- Hot sauce, to taste
- Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 (15-ounce can) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- Combine all ingredients except the beans in a large bowl.
- Stir together well, and taste and adjust the seasonings.
- Gently stir in the beans.
- If the mixture is too dry, add additional broth to dress it.
- Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld.