In the spirit of fresh Mexican cuisine, Jill Nammar is sharing this light but satisfying meal with you today. Bold flavors and contrasting textures are in every bite.
By Jill Nammar
The heat in the salsa is balanced by creamy black beans, sweet corn and a snappy red bell pepper. It’s finished with tangy lime juice and fresh cilantro or parsley. Simple cheese quesadillas, lite sour cream and sliced avocado lend welcome creaminess and round out this vegetarian, gluten-free meal.
- 2 15-16 oz cans of black beans, rinsed and drained. I used lower sodium
- 6 scallions, diced
- 1 cup of frozen or fresh corn. I use frozen corn and defrost it a bit in the microwave.
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, charred and diced. Remove the seeds and veins if you don't want it too spicy.
- handful of chopped cilantro or parsley
- ½ teaspoon of smoked paprika
- teeny drop of liquid smoke, see blog post for explanation. (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon of ground cumin
- drizzle of honey
- sea salt or kosher salt to taste
- drizzle of olive oil
- couple shakes of Green Tabasco sauce (optional, but I love it!)
- 2-3 limes, zest one and reserve the zest. I use a microplane zester.
- serve with lite sour cream, cheese quesadillas (recipe below) lime wedges and/or sliced avocado.
- Cheese of your choice. I used an aged cheddar.
- Corn tortillas. I am usually able to find these in the refrigerated section of my grocery store.
- Cooking spray
- Char the jalapeno pepper on gas flame or under the broiler, adding some black blistering to the outside of the jalapeno. Dice it up. This step is optional, but does produce mild, pleasant, smoky notes in the salsa. If you don't want to char it, then just mince it finely.
- Combine the first 9 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the lime zest, a couple of good squeezes of lime juice a drizzle of olive oil and salt. Stir in a drizzle of honey to balance the acid in the lime juice. Add a little bit of green Tabasco sauce if you'd like. Toss to combine. Taste. Adjust salt. Serve with cheese quesadillas, lite sour cream, lime wedges and/or avocado slices. Enjoy!
- Spray tortillas with a little cooking spray. Put 1-2 slices of cheese of your choice between to two corn tortillas. Don't over do it with the cheese. I tried this with light cheddar and it didn't work too well. It made a mess in my panini press. The cheese oozed everywhere. So I suggest using full-fat cheese. I like aged cheddar or jack cheese or a Mexican shredded blend. Cook the tortillas in a panini press until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are somewhat crisp and browned. Alternatively, you can make them in a cast iron skillet. Cut into wedges and serve with the black bean salsa, lite sour cream, avocado slices and limes.