Friday, August 9, 2019

Smokin' Hot: Grilled Corn & Black Bean Salad with Pepperoni

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine. And, as usual, I will only write about products that I really love! 

Those mid-August days are creeping up on us, and while it's easy to think that in a few weeks summer will be winding down, I'm firmly planted in the here and now. There are still so many things I want to do before the nights get cooler and the leaves start turning yellow. Road trips! Picnics! Backyard barbecue feasts! These are the days that need to be sucked of all their marrow. Go out there and live your best late-summer life! And bring snacks!

Speaking of snacks, I've got a great one today. I've partnered with Grimm's Fine Foods this summer and so far I've created four delicious recipes perfect for enjoying the best of the season. Always gluten, lactose and soy free, with no MSG added, Grimm's products are made in Canada with no fillers or bi-products. When it comes to sausages of any sort, I'm pretty picky, but Grimm's flavour and quality are top notch. I've fallen pretty hard for their Turkey Mini Peps Naturally Smoked Dry Pepperoni. Given that they're dry cured and don't require any refrigeration, I've taken the Turkey Mini Peps along on summer travels near and far. They're a great little snack to reach for when running out the door, or a late night nibble around the bonfire.

Given the little bite of heat the Turkey Mini Peps have, I thought they would be great when sliced into this smoky grilled corn and black bean salad. My boyfriend dropped off four fresh cobs of corn - the first of the season! - and I immediately threw them on the grill alongside a jalapeno pepper. The charred bits of corn and pepper are so good when married with black beans, tomatoes, red onion, avocado, cilantro and the dry pepperoni. With a simple honey lime vinaigrette, this salad sings of summer. I love the texture and flavour that the pepperoni brings to the party - not to mention a little extra protein. You can grill the corn and jalapeno a day ahead if you like, then just assemble the salad on the day of your potluck or picnic. Fresh, healthy, creative and delicious, this is the kind of food I want to eat when it's too hot too cook. Just add some cold beverages, a bowl of tortilla chips, and a few of your favourite people to share the late summer day with.

Grilled Corn and Black Bean Salad with Pepperoni

4 ears of corn, shucked
1 jalapeno pepper
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 540 mL can black beans, rinsed
8 sticks Grimm's Turkey Mini Peps Naturally Smoked Dry Pepperoni, sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup diced red onion
1 avocado, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tsp liquid honey
1/2 tsp ground chipotle pepper or chili powder
salt and pepper to taste

1. Brush the corn and jalapeno pepper with the canola oil. Grill on medium-high heat for about 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally. The kernels and pepper should be soft and have some charred bits when they're ready to come off the grill. Let them rest until cool enough to handle.
2. Slice the kernels off the cobs with a very sharp knife (be careful!) and remove the skin and seeds from the jalapeno pepper.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the corn, pepper, sliced pepperoni, black beans, cherry tomatoes, red onion, avocado and garlic. Gently stir together.
4. Place the dressing ingredients in a jam jar and shake vigorously. Be sure that the honey has dissolved. Pour over the salad and stir in the chopped cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Makes 4-6 servings.

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