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.