Mexican-Corn-Quinoa-Salad-Topview1Jeanette Chen of Jeanette’s Healthy Living shares this festive, summer salad, whose idea comes from the Mexican street food called Esquites, which is served in little cups. It’s a mixture of boiled or sautéed corn, mayonnaise, Cojita cheese, cilantro and chili powder. Sometimes jalapeño peppers are added too. What she loves about this recipe is the combination of sweet (from the corn), spicy (chili powder), and salty (Cojita cheese). This recipe is on the milder side but you can spice it up by adding additional cayenne pepper or chili powder. This serves 25, buffet style, so feel free to half it for a smaller crowd.
Jeanette’s Mexican Corn Quinoa Salad
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 cups corn
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups cooked quinoa
2½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1½ cups cooked black beans
1 cup cojita cheese (feta or romano cheese would also work), crumbled
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
3 tablespoons scallions, minced
2 limes, juiced
1½ teaspoon chili powder
a few dashes of cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
sea salt, to taste
fresh ground pepper, to taste
Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté corn and garlic until corn has some brown spots (that’s the caramelization that makes the corn even sweeter). Transfer to a large bowl and toss in the rest of the ingredients. Season to your liking with additional chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
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