Grilled Corn and Black Bean Salad

Do you have a “go to” recipe or two that you can just pull out of your hat at any time? This little ditty is one of my “go to” recipes. I do cringe a bit at even calling it a recipe as it is really more of a gentle guide. For me, these items are always at the ready in the fridge and pantry, making it all the easier to whip together quickly. I hesitate to label this as a salad, and it is probably more often served as a chunky dip with corn tortilla chips, and has even been used as a side dish. My friend J has been asking me to post this one ever since our families devoured a bowl of it on her back deck recently. So, here you go!

First, the guidelines to match the preparation in the photo, then I’ll give you the inside scoop on the easy variations and how to avoid going overboard.

One key here is the grilled corn. While there are several methods for grilling corn – smoky grill or gas, husks on or off, high heat or low – for this dish, I always go for the grilled on a gas grill, husks off, high heat, about 3 minutes between turns of the corn. It does make some of the corn a bit charred, but it is really good that way. And I know that you can butter your corn, fold the husks back up, tie it with a bit of twine and toss it on the grill, but butter is not what you are looking for here. At this time of year I tend to grill up an extra cob or 2 when I’m cooking dinner, as I find it any extras a perfect snack the next day. Also, with the temperatures here over 100 the past few days, our stove and oven are totally off limits for cooking!


1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

2 cobs grilled corn, kernels cut from the cob

1 large or 2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 avocado, cubed

juice of 1 lime

olive oil (optional)




1. Toss the beans and corn into a bowl. Top with tomatoes and add salt and pepper to taste. This dish is best with a little salt on the tomatoes, but I’m not a fan of salted black beans, hence the order of added ingredients. Mix.

2. Add avocado, lime juice, and just a bit of olive oil (if desired). Mix gently.

3. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.


Always use 1 can of black beans to 2 cobs of grilled corn.

From that point, select any 2 (just 2, really, I’ve tried more and the basic flavors get lost and you will end up more with an odd succotash kind of thing)

  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 avocado
  • handful of chopped cilantro
  • 3 or so sliced green onions, including greens

My favorite? black beans, grilled corn, avocado, and cilantro, munched down with tortilla chips. Yum!


2 responses to “Grilled Corn and Black Bean Salad

  1. Pingback: Spicy Bean Salad « Living Local in California … Seasonal Cooking and Sights

  2. Pingback: Grilled Corn with Marinated Tomatoes « Living Local in California

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