When I was growing up, my mom would make this bean salad called Texas caviar. It had all the usual suspects of Tex-Mex cuisine—corn, bell pepper, onion, tomato, etc. We would eat it with Fritos Scoops by the vat (or so it felt). It was an awesome summertime eat because it didn’t require a heat source to make. Midwest summers don’t mix well with the oven. Or the stove. Or even a toaster. Ninety-degree days with 90% humidity and no air conditioner? No thanks, I’ll eat my Eggo frozen.
Here, I have made a slightly sexier version of my mom’s Texas caviar. I should probably call if California caviar because if living in LA has taught me anything, it’s that adding avocado to something makes it “Californian.” But, I won’t do that to you guys.
This salad is hearty, fresh, and light. You can eat it by itself, over greens, or my personal fav—with tortilla chips. The lime and cilantro lend a brightness that really wakes up the shrimp and cuts through the richness of the avocado. The black beans give it some substance, so it’s easy to fill up on. I like to keep my knife cuts rough and rustic and the best part about making this dish is that the measurements don’t need to be precise. Add as many or as little of the ingredients as you like. You can also eliminate anything you don’t jive with or add an all-star ingredient I may have left out.
- 1 lb cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 can corn, drained (or fresh or frozen)
- 1/2 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1/4 red onion, diced
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- 1 jalapeno, diced
- juice of 2 limes
- cilantro, chopped (to taste)
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
Peel your shrimp (if they haven’t been) and chop into bite size pieces. Prepare all vegetables by dicing into similar sized chunks.
In a small bowl combine lime juice, onion, salt and pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Let sit for about 5 minutes to allow the juices to mellow out the flavor of the onion.
In a large mixing bowl combine corn, beans, avocado, tomato, jalapeño, shrimp, and cilantro. Add onion mixture and stir to coat. Add more oil or lime juice if needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
For best flavor, refrigerate for at least 30 mins. Serve with tortilla chips, over greens, or just by itself!