As the guest list for the 4th of July Ultimate Rib Extravaganza was falling into place, it became clear—appetizers were a must. I dipped into my “Recipes for a Hoard” file and pulled out the tried and true Black Bean Salsa. Many permutations of this recipe have been served at various events, and the 4th of July Ultimate Rib Extravaganza wasn’t going to be the exception. Celebrating the 4th was going to be a weekend long event, with houseguests, dinner guests, and then the big event on the 4th. Planning ahead was going to be essential if I was going to be prepared and not a frantic mess.
Saturday morning found us at the local Farmer’s Market. DH carved a straight line to his cousin’s stand, Gizmo’s Pickled Plus and settled in. The rest of us scattered taking in the ambiance and variety of the Market. A tap on my shoulder found Bella at my elbow with our good friend Jo in tow, a truly delightful surprise, which turned into two more for dinner. It had been far too long since we had enjoyed Jo and Angel’s company; they would be a welcome addition to our al fresco dinner party.
In addition to preparing for the 4th of July Ultimate Rib Extravaganza there were now additional preparations to make for dinner. Another pound of hamburg needed thawing, and I wondered if someone needed to go out for more sweet corn. I lingered on that for about two seconds before I was distracted and off in another direction. The kitchen was bustle of activity. My nephew Wort was making ice cream and sorbet, Adele was doing the ribs, I was making pies and lists, and Bella and Christy were in the dining room coloring and accusing each other of monopolizing crayons in between doing the dishes.
Around 5 o’clock everyone was starving, and dinner was still a ways off. Out came the ingredients for Black Bean Salsa. I whipped together this and some Dilled White Bean Spread, arranged everything in a cloth-lined basket and brought it to the porch. Wort opened a growler of beer and everyone settled in for a good gnosh. It was all delicious, but what the blazing sun would be served for appetizers tomorrow?!
Notes for this recipe: The Salsa will be best when made ahead of time giving the flavors time to develop and meld. More or less cilantro, garlic, and cumin can be added to suit your palate. The avocado can be omitted. The picture shows Black Bean & Corn Salsa from our Saturday night festivities. Click on "cooked corn" below for the link on this blog for cooking corn how to.
In a larger bowl combine the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine. Add the avocado & lime juice mixture. Stir gently to combine. Season with salt to taste. Scrape into a serving bowl and set aside for an hour. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
Line a basket with a towel. Set the serving bowl in the basket and surround with chips and serve.