You probably know this, but it’s hot outside.
It’s the kind of hot that even if there are interesting things going on in your life or in your friend’s life or in the news or in the TV series you’re currently hooked on, the first and only topic you can think to talk about is the heat — the energy-zapping, brain-frying, sticky, woozy, miserable heat. It’s the kind of hot where the mere thought of preheating an oven or igniting a stove sends fresh rivulets of sweat coursing down your back. It’s the kind of hot that makes having ice cream for dinner and dessert seem like a pretty clever idea.
If you don’t think this an exaggeration, then I’ve got a recipe for you.
This past week it was hot in Milwaukee, that terrific Midwest city of beer, brat, and bubbler fame (in case you didn’t know, Wisconsin folks call drinking fountains “bubblers”). On one particularly hot day, my mom, sister and I decided to explore the city on foot — to be specific, eight miles of the city on foot. By dinnertime, when we finally dragged our exhausted bodies back to Annie’s apartment, none of us had any interest in anything remotely resembling “cooking.” Instead, we assembled a rainbow of fruits and veggies, chopped and diced them into submission, and within minutes were sitting down to a cool, crunchy, sweet, salty, tangy, and perfectly filling summer treat.
And by the way, salsa for dinner is way more clever than ice cream for dinner, but just as fun and easy.
avocado mango salsa
1 15-ounce can of black beans, drained & rinsed
1 cup frozen corn, cooked
1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1 mango, diced
1 avocado, diced
1 cup grape tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup olive oil
juice and zest of 1 lime
3 cloves garlic, mashed
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
a couple dashes of cayenne pepper
In a large mixing bowl, combine beans and corn. Set aside.
Chop up all your fruits and veggies (pepper, onion, avocado, mango, and tomato). Add to beans and corn.
In a measuring cup, combine oil and lime juice with lime zest, mashed garlic, sugar, salt, and cayenne pepper. Whisk together.
Pour oil and lime mixture over bean and corn mixture. Mix to combine.
And voila! Scoop some of this salsa onto your favorite tortilla chip and you’ve got one satisfying summer snack. The sweetness of the sugar, the tartness of the lime, the creaminess of the avocado, and the tang of the mango combine into the most fantastic foursome since Reed, Sue, Johnny, and Ben got together. If you’ve got the gumption, fresh corn could totally replace frozen corn. If you’ve got the taste for it, fresh cilantro might be a nice addition (I, personally, am genetically disinclined). Whichever way you want to personalize it, this salsa will not disappoint.