A cool salad for hot summer days

By Angela Shelf Medearis

This Calypso Black Bean and Corn Salad takes only a few minutes to assemble, and it can be served either cold or at room temperature. (Photo courtesy of Phil Curry)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Angela Shelf Medearis runs a nonprofit social services organization in Austin, Texas, that has been swamped during the COVID-19 crisis. She is taking a break from her cooking column to focus her energies on helping those in need. In the meantime, we will run some of her favorite summer recipe columns from past years.

Dear Readers: I’ll be taking a break from writing my column to focus on helping those in need during the coronavirus crisis. Meantime, I’d like to share with you some of my favorite summertime recipes from years past. Hopefully, they’ll inspire you to cook up something “Diva-Licious.”

Calypso is probably best known as a type of Caribbean folk song. It’s inspired by a combination of musical styles and languages common to Trinidad. Calypso music is rhythmically smooth, and the words are often colorful and sharply critical in a witty way.

This recipe for Calypso Black Bean and Corn Salad draws inspiration from the Caribbean, the easy spirit of the islands and the music heard there. The salad takes only a few minutes to assemble, and it can be served either cold or at room temperature. Best of all, most of the ingredients can be found in the pantry or the freezer.

This festive salad instantly became one of my all-time favorites when I was challenged by chef Bobby Flay on his Food Network show “Throwdown With Bobby Flay.” I decided to serve the Calypso Black Bean and Corn Salad as a side dish with my fiery Jerk Chicken.

The wonderful thing about this combination of black beans, corn and spices is that it perfectly complements the smokiness of barbequed meats. It’s unique and colorful, and it tastes better the longer it sits in the pepper-infused citrus marinade. The judges loved my dishes, and I was declared the winner of the challenge.

While it was wonderful to claim a culinary victory over chef Flay, the real winners were the guests at the barbeque. They got to eat some of the best dishes in Texas! Try this delicious salad, and you’ll feel like a winner, too


1 (10-ounce) package frozen corn kernels, thawed

2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 small fresh jalapeño chili, seeded and minced

1/2 cup firmly packed chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Combine the corn, beans, bell pepper, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, oil, sugar, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings. Cover and chill one hour or overnight to combine flavors. Serves 4 to 6.


Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and the author of seven cookbooks. Her new cookbook is “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” Her website is www.divapro.com. To see how-to videos, recipes and much, much more, Like Angela Shelf Medearis, The Kitchen Diva! on Facebook. Recipes may not be reprinted without permission from Angela Shelf Medearis.


© 2020 King Features Synd., Inc., and Angela Shelf Medearis