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Summer Grilled Corn Salad
Black beans, grilled corn, avocado… jicama… this salad just reminds me of summer. Even though I make this year round, it’s a quintessential summer salad that I’m surprised I haven’t shared before. I also really love to use whatever is leftover in my morning breakfast burritos, which seems kind of obvious.
I’m always shocked when people say they have never had jicama before. Usually, the conversation comes up when I make this salad and they’ve got a chunk of it on their fork with a confused look on their face. It’s a great addition to vegetable trays and even tossed into simple watermelon salads where you’re trying to get a break from the overwhelming sweetness. The Kitchn has a great write-up all about jicama if it’s new to you and you’re curious about what else you can do with it besides this salad.
Recently, while my husband was tending to a brisket he had on the smoker (for fifteen freakin’ hours I might add), he asked me why I’ve gotten lazy with my cooking. He didn’t mean it as an insult, even if it may come off that way. I’ve been purposefully making simple dishes that don’t require a lot of time or any special cooking equipment. If I listen close enough, I can hear my grandmother snickering to herself about how lazy cooking doesn’t make anyone happy at the dinner table, but I digress.
I think for a lot of people, cooking is an evolution of sorts. At first, they begin with the simplest of recipes just to feed themselves. Then, as time goes on, they begin tackling more and more complicated recipes as a way to either challenge themselves or evolve their cooking abilities. The last couple of years, especially once I started blogging about food, I was all about the challenge, not realizing that the average person doesn’t have six hours to spend on a single meal. I’ve had to take a step backwards in my recipe development and tinkering… and that’s honestly been a greater challenge than tackling super complicated recipes with thirty steps.
Over the years, I’ve spoken about my grandmother and her own mother several times in regards to their cooking skills. My mother-in-law was just as skillful as those two women, though she wasn’t ashamed of preparing extremely simple dishes to feed her family of four. For my grandmother, it was chaos in the kitchen. She knew exactly what needed to be done and did it all from memory, but you needed to have your brain checked if you knowingly entered her kitchen while she was cooking. My MIL, on the other hand, was always calm and collected, usually while she casually watched a cooking or home improvement store. If she missed a step, it wasn’t the end of the world and you wouldn’t have your head bitten off if you interrupted her. Even though I’m relatively new into my cooking “career,” I’m probably somewhere in the middle, temperament-wise. I don’t get as frazzled as I once did, except when it’s either a new-to-me recipe that I’ve experienced before (and know how good it is), or when it’s an incredibly simplistic recipe such as the corn salad I’ve shared with you today, which is silly because it basically requires zero skills.
The other day, I had lunch with a friend of mine from college and she commented on how much she enjoyed this blog because, as she put it, she can barely cook pasta. She asked me why I started cooking, and I really don’t have an answer. On one hand, it was a way for me to connect with my family, giving us something else to talk about. As I’ve gotten older, cooking as been a vehicle of escaping the trials and tribulations of “the real world,” and it’s an escape I often take for granted.
Why did you start cooking?
- 1 medium diced avocado
- 1 cup diced jicama
- 1 small diced red onion
- 2 cups grilled corn kennels
- 2 15-ounce cooked and drained black beans
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper