Monday, January 9, 2012

Chunky Black Bean Salsa

One of my favorite things about cold weather is dusting off my pile of delicious winter recipes--roasts, soups, casseroles, and, of course, hot chocolate and pumpkin pie.  Sometimes, though, I get tired of all the heartwarming comfort food and long for something fresh and summery.  Yep.  I'm fickle.  But I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person in the world who's dived (or is it "dove"?) headfirst into a bowl of ice cream in the middle of March.  (Actually, that's not a very good example, as I will happily devour ice cream no matter the day or the season.)

This black bean salsa (or, as my family likes to call it, "dip") is one of my favorite year-round recipes.  It takes less than ten minutes to prepare and is great as a snack, appetizer, party contribution, or even a side dish to your favorite Mexican meal.  The ingredients aren't set in stone--I make it a little differently every time--but I'll try to give the basic idea with possible variations.  The best part?  The ingredients are almost always available at the co-op.  You'll just need to buy tortilla chips.  I think Aldi has the best deal, at $1.67 a bag for several varieties.  Scott's/Kroger often has them on sale for $1, but it's a smaller bag.

Chunky Black Bean Salsa
Time:  10 minutes

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can whole corn, drained
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 medium tomato (or 2 roma tomatoes), diced (optional--I usually leave them out in the winter, when good tomatoes are hard to come by)
mild or medium salsa, to taste (last time I used about 1/2 cup medium Chi-Chi's salsa)*

Combine all ingredients.  Serve with tortilla chips.  Pretend it's summer.

*For a dryer consistency, you can leave out the jarred salsa and instead season with chili powder and cumin to taste.

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