I’m pretty picky when it comes to summer salads. The choices seem endless but in my opinion, they can be hit or miss—often a waste of plate space when cookouts have so many incredible flavors to offer. I tend to lean towards the simpler salads with easy dressings. That way the veggies and proteins speak for themselves, bursting with flavor (without using the big carbs—pasta, rice, potatoes—that can weaken the salad as a whole).

The black bean salad below—which I tweak regularly, depending on what’s in the fridge—has been a huge hit with family and friends one summer after the next. It’s quick, flavorful, and easy (and cheap!) to double or triple the quantity depending on the crowd. Plus, it’s a perfect leftover to add to weekday lunches—just throwing on top of your green salad with some grilled chicken, cheddar, and couscous. So delicious!

Black Bean and Sweet Corn Salad
1 can of black beans (2 cans if you’re a big fan)
1 can of sweet corn (drained)  or a few ears of cooked corn, stripped
2 tomatoes, with the hearts taken out, diced
1 avocado, diced

½ – 1 red onion, diced (or ½ red onion, 1 cup scallions)
1 or 2 cloves of garlic
1 or 2 limes (to taste)
1 cup cilantro (to taste)
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper (to taste)

Leave it in the fridge over night (stir occasionally) and then add any extra lime/salt/pepper needed before serving. Serve as side salad, with tortilla chips, or in tacos or burritos.