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Layered Salad with Sweet Summer Corn, Black Beans and Tomatoes

I have a love-hate relationship with summer. I hate the summer heat here in Texas but I LOVE all the fresh produce that is available this time of year. One of my favorite fresh produce items is delicious summer corn! Corn is so versatile, I mean you can make SO MANY things with corn, I hardly ever serve plain ole corn on the cob. I love sauteing it, serving it in fresh salads like this one, and in soups like my Most Delightful Summer Corn Soup (recipe from previous post).

I recently made my Layered Corn, Black Bean, and Tomato Salad while we were on vacation in COOLER, BEAUTIFUL Michigan. My daughter Hope took the salad picture on the deck of the home we stayed in while visiting. Side note, did you know lakes could be blue??? I never knew this until a few years ago when we went on a family vacation with my hubby's family, who are from Michigan. On the drive from the airport to our rental on highway M-22, all of sudden the most magnificent blue lake appears out my car window.

I’m still amazed at how a lake can look like the Caribbean sea! I just had to share a few pics of how beautiful Lake Michigan is!

Anyway, back to the salad. So many things to love about this’s colorful, healthy and delicious with a light citrus vinaigrette that makes all the veggies pop with flavor. This is a great make-ahead dish which makes it perfect for a potluck, entertaining, camping or picnicking. Feel free to change up the ingredients, i.e. if you don’t love poblano peppers, sub in green or red pepper. Also, if you have a dairy intolerance sub in dairy-free cheese. I did this for my sweet mother in law and she loved it.


  • 2 Tablespoons butter

  • 3 cups fresh corn kernels (you could, if necessary, use frozen corn)

  • 1 Tablespoon minced chipotle peppers in adobo

  • ½ teaspoon cumin

  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice


  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • ¼ cup lime juice

  • ¼ cup orange juice

  • 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar

  • 1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro

  • 1 Tablespoon minced seeded jalapeno (optional)

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 1 teaspoon honey

Salad Layers

  • 1 15 oz can drained and rinsed black beans

  • 1 cup roasted chopped poblano peppers (or green pepper) see my note on the bottom of the post for instructions on how to roast the poblano peppers.

  • 12 oz. cherry tomatoes quartered (2 cups)

  • 2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese or cheddar

  • Chopped cilantro garnish (optional)

For the Corn:

-Melt the butter in a saute pan over medium heat and cook corn, chipotle pepper, and cumin 3-5 minutes until the corn is softened but still firm.

- Off heat add the lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.

- Set aside.

For the vinaigrette:

-In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, juices vinegar, garlic, and honey and set aside until salad is layered.

Layer it up!

- In a 2-quart bowl layer the beans, peppers, corn, and tomatoes.

- Slowly drizzle the dressing evenly over the top, the dressing will make its way down into all the layers.

-Top with cheese and cilantro then refrigerate until ready to serve.

Note: To roast the poblano peppers, set a stove flame to high and using tongs hold the pepper over the heat until it becomes black and blisters, turn the pepper until all sides are charred. Then put in a bowl and cover with plastic for 10-15 minutes. Remove the pepper from the bowl and rub off the blacked skin. Then cut the pepper open and remove the seeds before chopping into 1-inch pieces.

**Alternatively you may do this in the oven using the broil feature. Place the peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet and place on 2nd rack of oven. Broil for 2-3 minutes for each side watching carefully. Once a side is blackened, turn the pepper using tongs to the next side until all sides are charred. Then proceed as instructed above.


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Just prepped this for tomorrow nights dinner and snuck a taste and it’s delicious! Will definitely be a repeat recipe for the summer. Thanks for sharing! 😃


Denise Mendez
Denise Mendez
Aug 23, 2020

I definitely need to try this one! Looks delicious and refreshing!

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