My sister-in-law always tells me that July 4 is her favorite chag. Now that Labor Day is upon us, this is a great recipe that goes along with whatever last hurrah barbecue foods you are preparing for Sunday and Monday. Even though Labor Day is not an actual Jewish holiday, many Jewish families take the opportunity, like many other American families, to get together with friends and family for a fun time together after camp and summer vacations have flung us far and wide, and celebrate a little before we head back to the realities of fall, to work, schools and carpools, and everything that comes with that.
Salad recipes will add color and flavor to our grilled meat plates. This one is a variation of a corn and black bean relish I used to make when I lived on the Upper West Side, which was a standard every year for my friend Randi’s legendary Cinco De Mayo Shabbos dinner, which we are happily reinstating in another format and locale this Sunday now that Randi has finally moved to Teaneck! But I digress... here’s the recipe.
Lentil and Corn Salad With Cilantro
- One bag red lentils, cooked according to package directions with an onion and bay leaf, cooked just to al dente (do not overcook!), and drained (or, use 2 15-ounce cans Eden Organic Lentils with Sweet Onion and Bay Leaf [OK]), drained
- 3 cans yellow or white corn niblets, or 10 ears of fresh boiled sweet corn, kernels only (optional)
- 1 can black beans or chickpeas, rinsed
- 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- 2 cups chopped red bell pepper, small dice
- 1 cup red onion, small dice
- (optional) 3 Persian cucumbers, small dice
- (optional) 3 firm but ripe avocados, small dice
- (optional) 2 ripe tomatoes, diced, or a handful of grape tomatoes, sliced
1/3 cup high-quality extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 limes, juice only
2-3 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander seed
Pepper and salt, to taste
Combine, refrigerate and enjoy.
By Elizabeth Kratz