It’s finally May. The weather is warming, which usually brings with it a sense of anticipation for summer. This year, that feeling is certainly muted by the uncertainty of the future with the coronavirus. But still, folks are cautiously venturing outside and there’s a feeling of, dare I say, hope?
With the weather warming, I’m proposing something on the lighter side. It’s also Cinco de Mayo this week, and while we surely won’t be celebrating in restaurants and bars there’s no reason not to celebrate at home with some Mexican-inspired food.
I’m not the biggest fan of what Cinco de Mayo has become in the US. Don’t get me wrong, I love Mexican food, but we’ve turned it into another day of the year to get drunk and gorge on tacos without knowing what we’re even celebrating. There’s a popular misconception that Cinco de Mayo celebrates Mexican Independence Day, which it does not (that’s on September 16). Instead, it celebrates the Mexican army’s victory over the French army at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Despite having far fewer soldiers, the Mexicans defeated the French that day. The holiday is celebrated in some parts of Mexico, especially in the state of Puebla, but it’s not really a big deal – it’s not even a federal holiday. Cinco de Mayo was first celebrated in the US in Southern California as a way of showing solidarity with the Mexicans against the French and has expanded over the years, mostly due to marketing.
Just like the holiday, this salsa is more Tex than Mex. It’s not authentic Mexican food but rather is inspired by the flavors and ingredients of Mexico – corn, beans, tomatoes, cilantro, limes, avocados. Salsa literally means “sauce” in Spanish, with a much wider definition than the jar of pureed tomatoes that we know as “salsa”. So consider this a type of salsa that is chunky, more pico de gallo than salsa roja. It’s refreshing for spring, simple, healthy but still delicious. The possibilities are endless! You can put it in tacos or burritos, on top of huevos rancheros or nachos, over greens as a salad, on top of rice, or simply eat it with a chip!
This recipe is really the ultimate “chop it up and throw it in a bowl”. The best part is, you can’t go wrong. Don’t stress about having the exact quantity of ingredients. Have slightly less corn? It’s all good. Want it spicy? Add some chili powder or a finely diced hot pepper to the mix. You do you.
Chop everything small. Since I like to eat it as a dip, the finer the chop the better.
Stir together in a bowl and you’re done!
Corn Bean Tomato Salsa
15 minutes, makes one large bowl.
- 1 (15-ounce) can yellow corn, drained
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 avocado, pitted and slices into small cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Large bowl
- Chop everything finely.
- Stir together the corn, beans, tomatoes, cilantro, green onions, bell pepper, and garlic. Mix in the lime juice, avocado, oil, and salt and pepper.