Use What’s Fresh to Make this Farmer’s Market Summer Salad!
I’m so excited the farmer’s market is back! I wait all year for it. With everything that is going on it seems even more special this summer! This year they’ve made a few changes at my local farmer’s market in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. To make it more safe, the booths are spread out all over the park and so far people are social distancing. I usually try to go once or sometimes even twice a week. Every week it’s always full of surprises! You never know what’s going to be there. It’s kind of like a treasure hunt. Then, it’s so fun to turn all those treasures into some really delicious fresh dishes.
I promise you this dish is a WINNER! I call it my Farmer’s Market Salad. Click Farmer’s Market Salad for the full printable recipe. It’s super easy. Healthy too! I love that you can change things up a bit to use what’s in season at your farmer’s market. It’s also a great way to use up the produce in your fridge that needs using.
I also love this salad because it goes with whatever you are grilling. It’s also something a little different than the traditional summer sides. It’s so bright and colorful and fun and fresh!
My secret to making this salad extra yummy and so easy breezy is Tony Chachere’s Creole Italian Dressing. It’s packed with flavor! You just gotta try it! Besides being a delicious Italian salad dressing it also makes a great marinade for chicken, steaks, or pretty much whatever you’re throwing on the grilling. It’s new this year so if you can’t find Tony Chachere’s Creole Italian Dressing at your grocery store you can always order it online.
Okay, it’s time to toss this summer salad together. First, let’s start with the green beans. You’ll need to wash them and trim the ends. While you are doing that get a big pot of water boiling. Add the green beans to the boiling water and cook for just a couple minutes. Two to 3 minutes tops! The key is not to overcook them. You want them to be tender crisp. Now get those beans out and drain them right away, then plunge them in a big bowl of ice water. That will stop the cooking. They’ll be bright green and beautiful now! Let them sit for a couple minutes in the water until cooled. Drain the beans again and pat them dry. This is a step you can totally do ahead. These blanched green beans can be made up to two days ahead. Just seal them up in a bag or container and keep them refrigerated until you are ready to make the salad.
Same goes for the sweet corn. You can have that cooked and taken off the cob ahead of time too. I usually boil it, but you can grill it or even cook it in the microwave. If you are serving corn on the cob this summer, why not make a few extra ears and turn it into this salad? I use about 3 to 4 ears of corn. No fresh sweet corn at your market? No worries, you can use frozen corn too.
When you’re ready to make the salad get out a huge bowl. Add the green beans and corn. Next, open two cans of black beans. I like to use black beans, but you can change things up, too.
Garbanzo beans would work great, too. You could even use a can of each. Make sure to drain and rinse your beans. I just dump them in a colander in my kitchen sink and run water over them. Shake well to drain to get rid of that excess water. Add them to the bowl.
Now, we need some more color. I love tomatoes. It’s so fun if you can find the different colored tomatoes. If using whole tomatoes I like to seed and dice them. You can also use the small cherry or grape tomatoes. Depending on their size just cut them in half or quarter them. You need about 2 cups of tomatoes. Add the tomatoes to your bowl.
I love adding one finely diced jalapeño pepper to this salad. It won’t be spicy. It just adds some nice flavor. Here again use what you like. You can add diced green bell peppers or red or yellow ones too. You can throw in some chopped onion if you like too.
No mayo in this salad. That’s another reason I love it so much! It’s nice and light and you don’t have to worry about it sitting out a bit. The Tony Chachere’s Creole Italian Dressing definitely makes this salad! Shake the dressing well and drizzle about 3/4 of a cup of it over all the veggies and then gently toss to coat. You can add a bit more if you think it needs it. Now cover and refrigerate the salad. That way all the flavor really has time to get in there. I usually make it a couple hours ahead.
Before serving, take it out of the fridge. Uncover it and add a good handful or about 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and crumbled queso fresco, or feta, or goat cheese. Gently toss to coat. Now bring on the summer backyard BBQ! This Farmer’s Market Salad is for sure going to be the star of the potluck. It’s the dish your family will be talking about and asking for the recipe too! Love that!
Click Farmer’s Market Salad for my complete and printable recipe.
Farmers Market Salad
- 1 pound green beans - ends trimmed
- 3 to 4 ears fresh sweet corn - cooked and taken off the cob
- 2 cans (14 ounces each) black beans - rinsed and drained
- 2 cups tomatoes - seeded and diced or grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 jalapeno pepper - chopped (optional)
- 1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco - feta or goat cheese
- 3/4 to 1 cup Tony Chachere’s Creole Style Italian Dressing - or your favorite Italian vinaigrette dressing
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice - optional
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro - optional (you can use chopped parsley or basil too)
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Add green beans and cook for about 2 minutes or until tender crisp.
- Drain beans and put them in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.
- Let them sit for a couple minutes in the water until cooled. This will keep them bright green.
- Drain the beans again and pat dry.
- Place green beans, corn, black beans, tomatoes, and chopped jalapeño pepper, if using, in a large bowl.
- Toss veggies with 3/4 to 1 cup of Tony Chachere’s Creole Style Italian Dressing or your favorite Italian dressing until veggies are nicely coated.
- Cover and refrigerate up to 3 hours.
- Right before serving stir in chopped fresh cilantro or other fresh herbs, crumbled cheese, and lime juice if using.
- Toss to coat.
- Serve right away.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.