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Bean Salad with Summer Corn and Cilantro

Mariel here. This past weekend my fiance and I moved apartments. We migrated from the West Village all the way up to the Upper West Side, a transition that kinda feels a bit like moving to the ‘burbs. It’s different up here.

Since I’m still in a state of flux – there’s hardly any furniture, boxes everywhere and nowhere to sit – I haven’t felt much like cooking.  Which has actually been nice. The apartment definitely has a lot more space than my last shoebox – even the kitchen is better – but I’m still not exactly working with a five-star setup here.

But today I decided it was time to get back to saving cash so I headed to the local grocery store – up in these parts it’s called the MET, what? – and picked up some supplies for a bean salad. I was inspired by a lady carrying three bags full of Goya beans on the subway, weird, I know. Anyway, I needed something that keeps well and wouldn’t require more than a few cells of brainpower, so I threw together an impromptu lunch and was actually really impressed by how tasty it was. I’m sure there are a million different ways to make this, but here’s my rendition.

Bean Salad with Summer Corn and Cilantro
Serves 10 (as a side dish)

2 cans of cannellini beans (or any other small, mild white bean): $1.98
1 can of black beans: $0.99
4 ears of corn – $2.00
3/4 cup cilantro (I LOVE cilantro so I always use a lot), chopped finely – $1.49
1/2 jalapeno, minced – $0.50
2 limes, juiced – $0.50
1 orange bell pepper, chopped coarsely – $1.80
4 Tablespoons olive oil – stock
1/2 teaspoon of honey – stock
1/2 teaspoon of sugar – stock
Salt and pepper to taste – stock
Total cost assuming “stocked” kitchen: $9.26
Cost per serving: $0.93

1. Bring about 2 inches of water to a boil in a large pot. Shuck the corn and remove as much silk as possible.

2. Once the water is boiling, place the corn in the pot and boil for up to 8 minutes. Err on the side of slightly undercooked since the corn should add a crunch to the salad.

3. Holding the corn vertically, take a sharp knife and de-corn the cob. Put kernels in a large bowl.

4. Drain and rinse the cannellini and black beans. Add to the corn.

5. Chop the cilantro, jalapeno and bell pepper and add to the corn/bean mixture. When chopping the jalapeno, use rubber gloves to avoid an inadvertently painful pepper-eye situation.

6. In a small, sealable container (like a Chinese food takeout container), juice the lime (include some pulp) and add the olive oil, honey, sugar and salt/pepper. Close the lid and shake vigorously.

7. Pour the dressing over the bean/corn salad and toss gently. Let stand for 10-15 minutes before serving.