Summer Bean Salads: Black Beans With Corn, Cilantro, and Chili-Lime Vinaigrette

Cilantro-flecked black beans and corn mingle with jalapeños, onions, and a finishing crumble of corn chips in a powerful lime vinaigrette. [Photograph: Jennifer Olvera]

All week, we're talking beans. Bright, summery bean salads, to be specific. Today's easy Southwestern-style rendition combines inky black beans, fresh jalapeños, and corn for a colorful and picnic-friendly dish.

The salad gets its bold flavor from a dose of bright-but-basic chili-lime vinaigrette, which provides a critical hit of acidity that prevents the beans from tasting dull. When I first made this salad, I felt like something was missing. The trick was adding some textural crunch and an extra hit of salt with a smattering of corn chips. It turns out they're the perfect foil, complementing the flavor of the sweet, juicy, just-shucked corn. After a final shower of cilantro, this barbecue-worthy side is hard to beat.

Make sure to prepare the salad at least an hour before you plan to eat it—you'll want to let the flavors meld—but wait to garnish it with the corn chips and cilantro until you're ready to dig in. You can let it marinate in the fridge for a chilled dish, or serve it at room temperature instead.

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