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Black Bean and White Corn Salad With Cumin Vinaigrette

During the Cuba years, the Hemingways had a private cook, both at their home and on their boat. Black beans were a Cuban dietary staple even in the 1930s. This hot-weather version of black beans and corn is perfect for a spring barbecue.

3 cups dried black beans, cooked, or equivalent amount of washed and drained canned beans
1 tablespoon whole cumin seed
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup light olive oil
4 Anaheim chilies
1 bunch scallions
1 bunch cilantro
4 ears fresh white corn or 2 cups frozen white sweet corn

In an iron skillet, toast cumin seeds. Grind them with a mortar and pestle. Combine cumin, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper.

In a bowl, slowly whisk in the oil. Pour over beans and allow to marinate. Sear chilies over the flame of a gas stove until evenly blackened. Put in a paper bag and leave closed for 15 minutes. Peel, seed and dice chilies. Chop scallions and cilantro. If using fresh corn, cut it off cobs and blacken 1 minute; chill kernels and drain well. If using frozen corn, thaw briefly, no more than 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, gently combine marinating beans with chilies, scallions, cilantro and corn. Adjust seasonings. Chill well.

Nancy Hanst

Thursday, April 27, 2000

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