Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Mexican Cucumber, Tomato, and Bean Salad

Mexican Cucumber, Tomato, and Bean Salad

Serve this vegan delight as a starter or a main

The weather is warming up in our part of the world. So? Salad days! 

This classic combo of cucumbers and tomatoes is one of our faves. We’ve added black beans and sweet corn, then infused the vinaigrette with lime, cumin, and coriander.

The result? A terrific Mexican-themed salad. You can serve this as a first course, but we prefer to make it a main. Add some crusty bread or tortillas, and you’ll be happy chompers.


Mexican Cucumber, Tomato, and Bean Salad

Recipe: Mexican Cucumber, Tomato, and Bean Salad

This dish is a cousin of our Tomato, Cucumber, and White Bean Salad.

It’s easy to make this salad ahead of time. You can mix the vinaigrette ahead and chill it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. You can also prep the salad ingredients and mix them together, then refrigerate them for an hour or so before you’re ready to serve. When it’s time to eat, just mix in the vinaigrette and you’re good to go.

Prep time for this dish is about 15 minutes. This recipe yields about 3 main-course servings or 6 to 8 first-course servings.

Ingredients

For the vinaigrette:
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon kosher salt (to taste; see Notes)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano (about twice that if using fresh)
  • a few grinds of black pepper
For the salad:
  • 1 cup frozen sweet corn (or more to taste)
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans (or another bean of your choice)
  • 1 bunch green onions/scallions (can substitute half a large onion)
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 1 red bell pepper (optional; green bell pepper is good, too)
  • ~¾ pound tomatoes (or to taste; we prefer cherry or grape tomatoes, but slicers work too)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro (can substitute parsley)
Procedure
  1. Mix the vinaigrette: Peel the garlic and mince it finely. Place the chopped garlic in a small, lidded jar or other container. Add the olive oil. Squeeze the lime juice and add it to the container. Add the salt, cumin, coriander, oregano, and black pepper. Shake the mixture vigorously, then taste it and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Refrigerate the vinaigrette until you’re ready to make the salad.
  2. Place the frozen sweet corn in a small, lidded microwave-safe dish. Add a couple teaspoons of water, cover the container, and nuke until the corn is done (2 to 4 minutes for most microwaves). Drain the sweet corn into a strainer. Spray the corn with cold water to chill, shake the strainer to remove any excess water, then add the sweet corn to a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, open the can of beans. Rinse off the gunk they’re stored in. Add them to the mixing bowl.
  4. Rinse off the scallions and shake them dry. Remove their root ends, along with their loose first layer. Remove about half of the dark green ends (more if they look wilted). Mince the scallions and add them to the mixing bowl.
  5. Peel the cucumber, then cut it in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scrape out the seeds. Cut each half of the cucumber in half lengthwise (again). Then cut slices of about ¼ inch across the width. Add the cucumber pieces to the mixing bowl.
  6. Wash and dry the red bell pepper, if using. Remove the stem end, then core the pepper and remove the white ribs. Cut the pepper into dice of ½ inch or so, then add the pieces to the mixing bowl.
  7. Wash and dry the tomatoes. If using grape or cherry tomatoes, cut them into halves or quarters. If using larger tomatoes, cut them into chunks of ½ inch or so. Add the tomatoes to the mixing bowl. (Note: Tomatoes shed a lot of water, so you may want to do this step right before you mix the salad.)
  8. Wash the cilantro, then spin or shake it to dry. Mince the cilantro and add it to the mixing bowl. 
  9. Stir the contents of the mixing bowl to combine everything. (Note: Cilantro and parsley can discolor, so you might want to do this step right before mixing the salad.) You can refrigerate the salad for about an hour before serving. 
  10. When ready to serve, shake the vinaigrette to recombine the ingredients. Add the vinaigrette to the salad and mix until all the ingredients are thoroughly coated. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Plate and serve.
Mexican Cucumber, Tomato, and Bean Salad

Notes
  • This recipe invites substitutions and quantity adjustments. You might want more cucumber and tomato than we suggest, for instance. Instead of sweet corn, you might want to use green peas. Or string beans.
  • If you want a more substantial salad, just double the quantity of beans. 
  • Don’t want to use black beans? You can substitute kidney beans.
  • If you want a spicier salad, add some cayenne pepper to the vinaigrette. Maybe ¼ teaspoon. Or maybe ½ teaspoon of dried chile powder.
  • Or, for extra spice and flavor, consider making the green tomatillo vinaigrette that we describe in our recipe for Mexican-Spiced Green Bean Salad
  • Cilantro works well in this dish, but we know many people don’t like it. So feel free to substitute parsley – it adds a different, though equally good, flavor. 
  • We use kosher salt in cooking. It’s less salty by volume than regular table salt (the crystals are larger and more irregular, so they pack a measure less tightly). If substituting table salt, start with about half as much as we recommend. But always season to your taste, not ours.
Mexican Cucumber, Tomato, and Bean Salad

Mixed

“Bean locked down so long, this looks like up to me,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs.

“That was pretty corny,” I said.

“Careful, cuke boy,” said Mrs K R. “You could be in a pickle.”

“But our love will go on-ion,” I said.

“I fear pun-spiration has struck,” said Mrs K R. “Holy rhymin’ cumin.”

“I’m ridin’ high with my puns and onions,” I said. “Think I’ll call them punions.”

“Gonna bust a move now?” said Mrs K R.

Sure. I’m just a rap-scallion

You may also enjoy reading about:
Mexican-Spiced Green Bean Salad
Taco Salad
White Bean and Tuna Salad
BLT Salad
Barbecue Chicken Salad
French-Style Braised Lettuce and Peas
Lentil, Rice, and Pea Salad
Pasta, Bean, and Tuna Salad
Chipotle Sweet-Potato Salad
Or check out the index for more

74 comments:

  1. So colourful and summery..this is so perfect for the bbq party!

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    1. Hi Angie, this would be great for a cookout! Thanks for the comment.

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  2. Colorful, healthy and so delicious.

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    1. Hi Pam, it's good stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  3. We are planning on going to he lake this weekend. This will be a great porch dinner! Thanks!

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    1. Hi Anne, hope you have great weather! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  4. What a perfect salad for warm season! I love all the colors and the textures in the salad.

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    1. Hi Holly, we really like both color and texture in our food. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  5. Yum! This is going to be my lunch today. Great recipe. Thanks, John :)

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    1. Hi Pat, bet you'll enjoy this. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  6. The great thing about that is it's made of ingredients that are likely to be around even when grocery shopping is hard.

    be well... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Mae, that was one of the reasons we made this! Plus it's good. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  7. For me this would be a fast-to-prepare complete side to have say with a few marinated lamb cutlets or a grilled kangaroo fillet . . . like the usage of lime juice to go with the cumin and coriander . . .

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    1. Hi Eha, lime is really good in vinaigrette, and excellent with cumin and coriander. And this would be an excellent side with meat, or a pretty full-flavored fish. Thanks for the comment.

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  8. lots of fab flavours here KR. Yum!

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    1. Hi Sherry, it's a fun dish, and as you suggest, full of flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  9. They say, once you go black, you never go back and I do love a good black bean salad. This is fantastic, so colourful and full of flavour. Perfect to brighten a dull day and fill your tummy as well.

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    1. Hi Merryn, black beans have incredible flavor. And we're all in fvor of full tummies. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  10. I'm needing something for the lake this weekend. I think I found it. Thanks and be well!

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    1. Hi Debra, perfect for the lake! Really easy to make and loaded with flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  11. I love combos like this one, beautiful and full of colors! Yum☺

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    1. Hi Natalia, yum indeed! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  12. I love everything about this salad. Pinning to make when our Colorado Sweet Corn hits our farmer's markets.

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    1. Hi Lea Ann, Colorado sweet corn is the BEST! Always look forward to when it hits our grocery stores. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  13. For some reason, I have lots of cans of black beans in my pantry! You've come to my rescue as I could eat this every single day for lunch! Fresh and delicious!!

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    1. Hi Liz, this would make a terrific lunch. Or dinner, of course. I actually had the leftovers for breakfast. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  14. As we eat with our eyes, this is a feast! I can easily see this as a side dish to my chocolate, cinnamon, and chile rubbed pork tenderloin.

    Loved the out-of-control puns!

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    1. Hi David, this would be great with your tenderloin! And the ending is all Mrs KR's work this week (she came up with better jokes than I did). :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  15. Yes, please! I am so ready to break into the veggie season!And those Mexican flavors are perfect. They might even convince Manservant to eat his veggies!

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    1. Hi Abbe, bet Manservant would like this. If not, leftovers for you! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  16. Beautiful and colorful salad John, and guess what? I have all the ingredients handy...loving the spices in it.
    Thanks for the recipe...and have a great rest of the week!

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    1. Hi Juliana, since you have all the ingredients, you can make this today! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  17. Local corn and tomatoes have just started appearing. So, this is perfect timing! Looks like a perfect summer salad.

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    1. Hi Lisa, you're lucky to get corn so early. It'll be awhile for us. :-) Although we are getting some decent tomatoes. Thanks for the comment.

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  18. John
    I love these kind of easy on stomach, fullsome and wholesome salads that can be eaten as a main.I will borrow your suggestion of adding more cucumber and will swap black beans with chickpeas. Thanks for such an amazing summer bowl salad recipe.

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    1. Hi Hasin, we love cucumbers, so we're always up for adding more. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  19. This is one delicious side dish for this weekend's cookout. Fabulous on the side of grilled chicken, beef, fish and so much more. Wishing you a lovely weekend ahead.

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    1. Hi Bobbi, hope you have a terrific holiday weekend, too! Thanks for the comment.

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  20. Perfect also as a side for bbq on Memorial Day!

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    1. Hi Denise, it is! :-) Thanks for the cmment.

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  21. It is definitely time for salads. This is perfect for a BBQ potluck

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    1. Hi Dahn and Pat, it is, it is. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  22. Salad days indeed. We're on the cusp of summer here and this is just the sort of thing I'm hungry for. GREG

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    1. Hi Greg, we're SO ready for this kind of dish. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  23. This is a very festive, delicious and pretty plate. I would love it with chips -- like a salsa. :-) ~Valentina

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    1. Hi Valentina, this would be good with chips! We'd drop the corn from the ingredient mix ('cause the chips are made from corn). Or maybe not. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  24. Lovely summer salad! And as you mentioned, it's quite versatile. Lots of yummy and healthy ingredients. The weather is crazy for us down hear. I don't know whether to make salads or stews. One days it's 93 and the next it's 70. Crazy! Another gorgeous dish John!

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    1. Hi MJ, our weather has been similar, although the last few days it's been pretty warm. Salad weather! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  25. I can't wait until my cherry tomato plants start producing this summer, so I can spotlight them in this Mexican fiesta of a salad. With a side of guacamole and chips, it's like bringing the taqueria home with you.

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    1. Hi Carolyn, sounds like a plan! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  26. Youre warming up while we are getting cold here down under but nothing stopping me to have a great salad like those!

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    1. Hi Raymund, in a few months when you guys begin to get really warm weather again this will be really welcome. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  27. What a nice simple recipe! I should try it :)
    Have a nice day
    TheFood-Trotter

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    1. Hi Food-Trotter, you should! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  28. What a nice healthy salad John. It reminds of a German salad an aunt of mine used to make.

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    1. Hi Gerlinde, healthy and tasty and satisfying -- terrific combo. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  29. This salad has got a pun-ch to it doesn't it! It's so fresh I'm tempted to bean-ge on it, filling up from my head to-ma-toes. Do you usually save the leftovers in the fridge? Or oregano make sure you finish them up? Anyway, lovely post, oil make a move for now! Hope I didn't start corn-fusing people here!

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    1. Hi Sammie, LOL! Very good. :-) Thanks for the (very fun) comment.

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  30. This salad looks so vibrant. Perfect summer recipe.

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    1. Hi Priya, looks good, tastes better! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  31. This is such a bright and fresh salad -- perfect for summer! Looks delicious, too!

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    1. Hi Amy, isn't it nice? Great flavor, and we love all the colors in it. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  32. I really like the sound of the lime in the vinaigrette, bet it's so good over this salad.

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    1. Hi Carolyn, we really like lime in this sort of vinaigrette -- adds such an interesting flavor! Thanks for the comment.

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  33. So nice that this takes pantry staples and combines them with some fresh ingredients. Super clever!

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    1. Hi Laura, it's good stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  34. Just the look of this is so refreshing and colorful. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hi Amira, it's a wonderful dish -- so full of flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  35. I love your homemade vinaigrette dressing you used in this beautiful salad. This recipe is so perfect for hot summer days!

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    1. Hi Heidi, we love vinaigrette! Such a nice, clean flavor. And so easy to adapt to different salads. Thanks for the comment.

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  36. John, I really think the beauty of your salad is the perfectly balanced vinaigrette!

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    1. Hi Heidi, isn't that a nice vinaigrette? Fun flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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