Salsa Bean Salad

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“It needs more red,” Jared concludes, after a long, critical appraisal of the dish. We get out some red kidney beans. “Now black,” he says. We open the black beans.


  • 1 cup uncooked small pasta , (shells, elbows, fusilli, whatever)
  • 1 540-mL can mixed beans , (or red kidney beans, romano beans or chickpeas)
  • 1 341-mL can corn niblets , or cooked corn cut from the cob (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 medium green sweet pepper , chopped
  • 1/2 medium red sweet pepper , chopped
  • 1/2 onion , chopped (red ones are nice)
  • 1 cup salsa , (mild, medium or hot)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil , or vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • salt , to taste
  • black pepper , to taste
  • 1/2 cup cheddar , or Monterey jack, shredded


  • Cook the pasta just until tender but not mushy, Drain thoroughly, then rinse under cold running water and drain again. Dump into a large bowl.
  • Open the cans of beans and corn and empty them into a strainer. Rinse under cold water and drain thoroughly. Dump into the bowl with the pasta. Hand your child a wooden spoon, and have him gently mix the beans and pasta while you chop the peppers and onion.
  • Add the chopped peppers and onion, salsa, oil and vinegar. Stir carefully – you don’t want to mash up the beans – then taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper if you need it – the salsa may be spicy enough.
  • Chill, then just before serving, toss again festoon the top with the shredded cheese.