Corn and Tri-bean Summer Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette
Written and photographed by Ritika Gann
As a new addition to the Little Rock community, I’ve found myself in a love-hate relationship with the torrid weather this June. Coming from Canada, I’m used to freezing temperatures in the winter and mild summers. I am laughably ill-prepared for this Arkansas heat (and my colleagues make fun because it’s only just June).
In the kitchen, I’m keeping it cool. Finally, I’m moving away from my usual stovetop meals. “Y’all” know what that means – salads for days! And so, this recipe for corn and tri-bean summer salad with tomato vinaigrette came to fruition in my desperate need to keep away from hot food during my first full summer in Arkansas. Although you’ll need a frying pan to roast the corn, I’ll still count this as a “mostly” heat-free recipe.
Coming from an Indian-Canadian household, salads were never a part of my regular diet. I never really developed a taste for them – until I realized that salads didn’t have to consist of “leafy greens.” The salads I love are hearty, full of protein (plant and otherwise), and ready to serve in less than 20 minutes. If you’re looking for my FAVORITE vegan pasta salad recipe, here’s a link.
My true inspiration for this salad, I’ll admit, is not entirely from my imagination – A Couple Cooks has an amazing three bean salad recipe that I’m obsessed with and served as a solid base for this recipe.
The best way to describe this salad is crisp, fresh and filling with a citrusy undertone. I’m a huge fan of feta cheese – the saltiness compliments the tartness of the tomato-vinaigrette dressing perfectly!
Quick tip: Don’t throw out the “water” from the chickpeas: in the upcoming weeks, I’ll show you how to use the liquid to make Aquafaba, which can be used in vegan desserts like chocolate mousse!
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Corn and Tri-Bean Summer Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette
15 oz can of corn kernels, drained and rinsed
½ teaspoon olive oil (optional, if you decide to saute the corn kernels)
15 oz can of dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
15 oz can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
15 oz can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup of crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon of dehydrated, chopped chives
1 tablespoon of finely chopped cilantro
freshly ground, black pepper
½ cup red onion, finely diced (optional)
crushed red chili flakes (optional)
For the tomato vinaigrette:
Juice of ½ a lime
2 tablespoons of ketchup
2 tablespoons of your favorite jarred pasta sauce/tomato sauce
1½ tablespoons distilled white vinegar
5 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon dried oregano
pinch of salt
- In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the vinaigrette and set aside
- Heat half a teaspoon of the olive oil in a small pan and lightly saute the corn until lightly browned. Set aside to cool. (This step is optional, you can just toss in the corn without sauteing if you want to)
- Drain and rinse the beans and toss together in a large salad bowl. Add the cooled, roasted corn and toss once more. Add red onion, if using.
- Drizzle the dressing over the beans and corn and mix thoroughly to coat.
- Sprinkle feta cheese, chives, cilantro, and freshly ground black pepper on top of the salad and serve at room temperature.
Each week, Ritika Gann will share some of her favorite recipes with AY readers. Ritika grew up in Ontario, Canada as an avid traveler and lover of international cuisine and beautiful plating. She is creator-owner-photographer-writer of the food blog R&M Cooks, and author of Coconut Oil: 65 Recipes for Cooking Clean, which can be ordered here. She currently lives and works in Little Rock with her husband.