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Ensalada Miraflores (Corn, Bean, and Cheese Salad) From Ceviche: Peruvian Kitchen

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[Photograph: Paul Winch-Furness]

Hearty bean-based salads are one of my favorite dishes in the summertime. I grew up eating a corn and black bean version, but these days I'll throw just about any vegetable into a bowl with a can or two of beans and a tangy dressing and call it dinner. A big batch can hold for days in the fridge for a few days, making it perfect for make-ahead potluck dishes and picnic fare. Martin Morales's South American twist in his new cookbook, Ceviche: Peruvian Kitchen, is filled with delectable nibbles: bacon and cheese add savory richness, tomatoes bring a taste of summer, and chilies give the final dish background heat.

Why I picked this recipe: Corn and bean salads were a summertime staple in my house growing up.

What worked: This hearty salad is super simple to prepare; it'd make for a fantastic picnic or potluck dish.

What didn't: As was the case yesterday, I thought the salad contained way too much onion. I'd use half a large red onion or perhaps a small one.

Suggested tweaks: If you can't find a rocoto chili, you can substitute a mix of a red bell pepper and red habanero chili. (A rocoto chili is about the size of a small bell pepper.) Queso fresco or feta cheese will work equally well in the salad. You could leave out the bacon if you want to make the salad vegetarian.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Ceviche: Peruvian Kitchen to give away this week.

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