- ½ pound whole grain bow-tie pasta or rotini or penne
- 1 (14-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes (10 ounces), sliced into thin rounds
- 1 ear fresh corn, shucked (about ½ cup fresh corn kernels)
- ½ to ¾ cup crumbled feta or diced avocad
Jalapeño herb pesto
- 1 cup lightly packed fresh parsley
- 1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro or basil
- 1 to 2 medium jalapeños, roughly chopped (remove seeds and membranes for less heat), optional
- 1 medium lemon, juiced
- 1 medium garlic clove, roughly chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds) or slivered almonds
- ½ cup olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Before draining, reserve about a cup of cooking water. Drain and return to pot. Set aside.
- Toast the pepitas in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they are making little popping noises and turning lightly golden on the edges. Set aside to cool a bit.
- To make the pesto, combine the herbs, jalapeño, lemon, garlic and salt in a food processor. Pour in the pepitas. Pulse a few times and then run the machine while drizzling in the olive oil until the mixture is well blended, scraping down the bowl as necessary.
- Pour enough pesto into the pasta to lightly coat it once tossed (you might not quite need all of it). Add a small splash of pasta cooking water and toss well. Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl and add the drained black beans, sliced cherry tomatoes, fresh corn and feta or avocado. Stir until combined. This salad tastes best after it’s had a chance to marinate for about 30 minutes, but you can serve it right away if need be.