Often I like to have a green salad with my meal. I prefer to eat it before the main, but others choose to have it with or after the main. Here’s a question: when tailgating, is a green salad even practical? If you mix the salad with dressing before leaving for the stadium, then it is likely to get soggy and limp. If you serve it with an assortment of dressings at the tailgate table, then that is just more stuff to pack. Mind you, I witnessed a seriously sophisticated array of tailgating setups on my visit to Arrowhead. One group had a full bar with multiple spigots for a variety of hard liquors. Many had tents up sheltering what looked like a full buffet on offer. So it is probably a mere minor detail to provide a green salad, maybe even a Caesar and a Chef’s salad and more. It reminds me of when my family went camping. We thought we had it all figured out: the food and drink supplies, tableware and implements, cookware and fuel, tents, bedding, tarps, ropes, bungee cords, lanterns and flashlights, toiletries, and clothing for all kinds of weather. Everything was stowed in its place and there was a place for everything. We would prepare a couple of salads -bean, noodle or potato – in advance as they keep well especially if using oil and vinegar rather than mayonnaise as a mixer (they should be prepared in advance to allow the flavors to meld). Maybe you already include a bean, potato or noodle salad when tailgating or for a backyard barbecue. Here is a bean salad recipe for your exploration. We have this recipe handwritten on a well-worn cue card, I don’t know who it came from, but it is probably derived from a combination of recipes we have tried. Or maybe a friend wrote it out and told us: “Here, try this.” Almost any kind of salad can be made from available ingredients and a little ingenuity – and isn’t that partly what cooking is all about? The more you try recipes in the kitchen, the more you become familiar with how ingredients go together, which spices and herbs go well with main ingredients and in what volume. If it doesn’t work out, then you have some guidance for the next attempt. Good eats and go Chiefs.
BLACK BEAN and CORN SALAD
2 cups dried black beans picked over & rinsed, or 2 15 oz cans black beans drained & rinsed
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic minced
1 tsp fine sea salt
1/8 tsp cayenne
2 ears corn, kernels out off cob, or 1&1/2 cup thawed frozen corn
1 avocado (firm) cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 small red pepper diced medium-fine
2 medium tomatoes chopped
6 green onions, with tops, finely chopped
Optional: 1 fresh hot chile pepper (or portion of) seeded & minced; 1/2 cup fresh parsley/cilantro chopped medium-coarse
If using dried beans then rinse, soak, boil & simmer until barely tender, and let cool.
In small bowl mix lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt & cayenne for dressing.
In a salad bowl, combine remaining ingredients & and toss with dressing. Can be made a few hours ahead to let flavors meld.