The main ingredients in this salad—beans, corn, and zucchini (summer squash)—are known in Native American agriculture as the "Three Sisters" because these important food staples were planted together, coexisting in a beneficial relationship. According to this Wikipedia article:
"The three crops benefit from each other. The maize provides a structure for the beans to climb, eliminating the need for poles. The beans provide nitrogen to the soil that the other plants use, and the squash spreads along the ground, blocking sunlight, helping prevent the establishment of weeds. The squash leaves also act as a "living mulch," creating a micro-climate to retain moisture in the soil, and the prickly hairs of the vine deter pests."
I like the idea that my food gets along.
When preparing the salad, defrost the frozen corn by putting it in a colander and running it under hot tap water for a minute. I cut my zucchini into thin short strips (julienne) but diced would work, too. Sometimes, I replace the cherry tomatoes with diced red or orange bell pepper, depending on what I have available.
The dressing is a very simple blend of traditional chili seasonings with some lime juice. Since learning that limes are yellow and not green when ripe, I've made it a point to buy limes with a large yellow spot. I find the ripe limes are more juicy and less acidic with a sweet, floral fragrance. Don't throw out those dried up old limes with the hard, brown spots that you find forgotten about in the bottom of your crisper. As long as they haven't gone bad, they are still juicy and delicious. The seasonings and the lime juice mixed together form a loose paste that beautifully coats the vegetables.
makes 4 servings
1-1/2 to 2 cups cooked or canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn, defrosted
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes or 1 red bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 to 2 cups julienned zucchini
1/8 teaspoon chipotle powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
1/4 to 1/3 cup lime juice (juice of 1 lime)
To your health and happiness,
Beans and Rice