This simple no-cook bean salad is great to make when you have hungry houseguests, are heading for a potluck, or hosting a casual summer party. It keeps well in the fridge for a few days (in fact the flavor builds overnight), can be doubled, and multitasks as a side salad, a condiment, or a bed for grilled meat. Play around with the dressing/marinade ingredients as you like. This version has diced zucchini for a bit more heft, but diced avocado in place of or in addition to the zucchini is also nice, though the avocado won’t hold up quite as well. The juices will increase as the salad sits, so serve it with a slotted spoon.

Feel free to double this if you have a really big crowd. Better still, make the salad and let it sit overnight, then combine it (use a slotted spoon) with a cooked and cooled grain like quinoa, barley, wheatberries or short grain rice to make an even more substantial dish.

Serves 8 as a side

  • 2 15.5-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 3 ears)
  • 1 cup small-diced red, orange, or yellow bell pepper
  • 1 cup small-diced zucchini
  • ½ to 2/3 cup sliced scallions (all parts)
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro (more if you like or add mint or another herb)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon local honey
  • ½ teaspoon chili-garlic sauce (or chili crisp or other hot sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic (more if you like)
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons minced fresh ginger (more if you like)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander


1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Let sit 15 to 30 minutes, tossing and stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust the seasonings if you like, adding more salt,  herbs, acid or honey. Toss and let sit again for a few minutes before tasting. Continue seasoning if you like. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate, covered, for up to 2 days. (If holding in fridge, stir occasionally.)