This summer is NOT like last summer. Last summer had only a few really hot days and ample rainfall. A nice summer. And sadly, an unusual summer for Kansas. So we had to be reminded of that in a very big way this year. It has been regularly in the 90s since the middle of May. Rainfall here has been less than less than 4 inches since then. My poor garden! I live in a working class neighborhood, no sprinkler systems for any of us. The grass is almost all brown and the grasshoppers are plenty.
My tomatoes are producing, but the fruits are fewer and smaller. The good part is they are pretty tasty. Got to appreciate the good when you can find it.
So I decided to make a no cook dinner with our 98 degree day. I had some cured chorizo nuggets from Busseto foods. Already in 1/4 inch thick slices and sold for less than a whole cured sausage of the same weight. I grabbed 2 bags. I wish I had bought more. My tomatoes would go well with this.
I’m also a fan of jicama. Some call it the Mexican potato, but it really has a lot more flavor and tastes great raw. Crunchy and slightly sweet–great for my salad. I added black beans and corn. The fresh corn here has not done well with the heat, so I used frozen and just thawed it. Fresh uncooked sweet corn would be great in this dish. If you think cooked corn is sweet-talk to anyone who grows it. They will admit to standing in the garden and eating the ears right there! So good… I added some sweet peppers, a bit of red onion, and pumpkin seeds too.
I also used a mature cheddar from Tickler with chilis and peppers. This one has a bit of a bite even when in the cheese so I used it sparingly. Again, I wish I had bought more than 2 chunks.
Now for the dressing. My sundried tomato jam from last years crop with the last of my fresh cilantro (almost gone from the garden in this heat), a bit of roasted garlic powder, cider vinegar and a touch of sugar.
This all came together in less than 30 minutes and was delicious! Nice and cool on a hot day! Light yet substantial, the flavors all coming though nicely.
NOTE: By not slicing the tomatoes and using the cheese as a topping, this salad will hold up when stored in the refrigerator. I made enough for lunches. Perfect for my son who can’t heat up his lunch. He gives my first try an 8.5. Hope you try it. 🙂
Makes 4 ample servings as a main dish or 6 as a side dish.
4 oz of sliced cured chorizo sausage-1/4 inch thick and split into 1/2 rounds
1 cup of raw jicama, cut into 3/4 inch chunks
1 to 1-1/2 cups fresh grape tomatoes, whole
8 oz of fresh corn kernels, thawed frozen corn, or good quality canned sweet corn, drained
1- 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed well
1 cup of sliced sweet peppers-multiple colors if you can
1/2 cup red onion (optional) diced
1/2 cup of chili cheddar cheese, cubed
2/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup sundried tomatoes with their oil or sundried tomato jam
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro
1 tsp ground cumin
1 clove of peeled fresh garlic or 1/4 tsp roasted garlic powder
1 tsp raw sugar or to taste
3 tbs cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
2/3 cup vegetable oil
salt and pepper, to taste
Make the dressing first so the flavors have time to blend. Place all the dressing ingredients in a food processor and run until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. Set aside.
In a good sized mixing bowl combine the salad ingredients except for the pumpkins seeds and cheese. Toss gently. Pour the dressing over it and toss again. Let sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes if you can wait that long. Toss again before serving. Top with cheese cubes and pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!