Friday, July 23, 2010

Delicious, healthy and colourful; Heather's Salsa Salad

Last weekend, my friend, the brilliant and talented Cara Luft performed at a house gig in Calgary. Some of the guests brought food, including Heather, who's salsa salad was FABULOUS. So I begged the recipe.

I made it again myself last week - about 2 litres of it - and ate most of that myself, totally guilt-free because there's hardly a bad calorie in the stuff.

Here's what you need:
1 large can black beans and one of chick peas/garbanzo beans, rinsed
1 can sweet corn or 2 cups cooked frozen corn
1 zuchinni
3 Roma tomatoes, seeded
1/2 a large red onion (softball size)
1 each: red, green, yellow and orange peppers
1 jalapeno pepper: WEAR GLOVES - remove the seeds for less heat - and do NOT touch your face until you remove the gloves and WASH your hands. The seed oil is VERY spicy and strong.
1/2 bunch cilantro
Juice of 2 large limes. You can also add lime zest if you like that flavour
1-2  tsps sea or kosher salt. Table salt is NOT the right choice for this
1 tsp brown sugar (this brings out the flavour of the tomatoes)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (if you have it; not critical but a nice add)
1 Tbsp Sriracha, otherwise known as Rooster Sauce (or to taste)
2-3 cloves garlic (to taste)

You'll need a large bowl - 2 quarts or so - that has a good lid

The hardest part of this recipe is the chopping. Your goal is to chop the vegetables into bits that are about the size of the beans and corn. The cilantro should be finely chopped.

Chop everything up, dump it all in the bowl; mix the lime juice, salt, hot sauce and garlic and dump into the bowl. Mix well; give it a taste for seasoning but DON'T add anything at this point; let the mixture sit for a couple hours in the fridge to let the flavours blend and infuse; taste again for seasoning.

If you like things quite spicy, you can chop up some of the jalapeno seeds. like 10 of 'em.

If you do this, WEAR GLOVES. The seed oil is very pervasive and it will burn your skin, especially if it goes under your fingernails. Once you're done chopping and have stirred the seeds into the mix, put the stirring utensil in the sink and wash it immediately with soap/hot water. THEN you can dispose of the gloves. If you don't do this, you will instantly know why I suggest you do....

I serve this as a side with lime nacho chips. It is also excellent as a topping for baked fish or as a filling in chicken or beef tacos or quesadillas.

Warning. HIGHLY addictive. Super yummy and awesomely healthy. You will pretty quickly understand how easy it really is to sit down with a bowl of this delicious stuff. Blissfully healthy and really, really gorgeous to look at. I'd have taken a picture but was too busy chowin' down....

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