Last weekend I had my Book Club meeting, and since neither of the books we read had very much to do with food (we read Look Me in the Eye and Before I Go To Sleep, both of which I liked very much), and since the weather was pretty stinking nice for April, I decided to try out a salsa recipe I had my eye on from none other than my gal Cathy at NoblePig.com (she has no idea who I am, but I love every recipe I’ve ever tried of hers).
I like anything that gives me an excuse to eat tortilla chips, and when I saw this grape, corn, and black bean salsa, I knew I had to try it. How often do you go to a barbeque and 5 people brought the same jar of tomato salsa with them? This recipe sounded different enough to stand out on a table of pot luck items, but the ingredients are are still familiar that people aren’t going to be afraid to try it. Grape, Corn & Black Bean Salsa via NoblePig.com2 pounds red seedless grapes, each grape quartered (this is time consuming) 1 jalapeno, seeded, de-veined and diced 1/2 a medium red onion, coarsely chopped One whole bunch of cilantro Juice of one lime 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed 1 (15 ounce) can corn, drained 3 Tablespoons white vinegar 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Toss the beans, corn, vinegar, salt, and lime juice into a bowl. Chop up the grapes and add to bowl. Dice up jalapenos into small pieces, add to mixture. Coarsely chop red onion and remove stems from cilantro, and place in a food processor. Pulse until you have a red onion-cilantro paste. Mix well.
My suggestions: A good rule of thumb when serving up any dish that has several chunky ingredients is to always try to cut your items to approximately the same size. This often helps everything to cook more evenly (think carrots and potatoes in a stew) and also makes it easier for people to eat. So when you are buying your grapes, don’t make the mistake I made, and make sure you try to buy small grapes. I had to pick up two packages, and although I took a quick peek for bruising, I didn’t think about the size of the grapes. One package had significantly longer grapes that took me an extra long time to chop up because I had to cut them into sixths, instead of just quarters, and trust me, the cutting IS time consuming!
As I was making the red onion-cilantro paste, I admit, it looked like A LOT of cilantro. So I decided to slowly add it to the rest of the ingredients, and continue to taste. I ended up adding everything – but I was definitely nervous when I first saw how much my “bunch” of cilantro had made. I went against my gut to change the recipe and I’m so glad I followed it to the T! I would also suggest making this a few hours before serving, as it gives all of the flavors a chance to really meld together. I’ll definitely be making this a few more times this summer!