Southwest Black Bean Salad



1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups corn kernels (see notes below)
1 red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1tortilla, cut into strips (optional)

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lime
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground chipotle powder

NOTE: this salad is especially delicious when made in the summer with fresh corn. One ear of corn yields around 1/2 to 3/4 cup of kernels. You can make the corn ahead of time and save in the fridge. To grill corn: heat a gas grill to high. Brush grill grate with oil. Remove husks and silks from corn. Grill corn, turning occasionally with tongs, until cooked through and lightly charred, about 10 minutes. Let cool and cut kernels from cobs. To roast corn: Preheat oven to 450°. Roast unhusked corn on a baking sheet, turning occasionally, until heated through and crisp-tender, about 15 minutes. Let cool. Shuck corn and cut kernels from cobs. Discard cobs. You can also make this recipe with one can of corn or 2 cups of frozen corn.

To make the dressing, place all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until well combined.

In a large bowl, combine beans, corn, bell pepper, avocado, onion, and cilantro. Add dressing and stir gently.

If topping with tortilla strips, heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut tortillas into thin strips and place in a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Coat tortillas lightly with cooking spray. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or just until crisp, stirring once. Cool on wire rack. Top salad with crispy strips before serving.