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Summer Corn Salad with Tomatoes and Basil

5 Sep

 

I found this recipe in Bon Appetit magazine in June and immediately knew I would be making it with my summer cooking class students. Since we were in a classroom and not outside, we skipped the original instruction to char the corn on a charcoal grill and gave the corn a quick saute in a cast iron pan instead. This took a long time and since there was such a large amount of corn, it didn’t really brown unless cooked in very small batches. This recipe doesn’t feature anything revolutionary or complex, but we all loved it, many of us eating it by the spoonfuls. It’s just simple summer flavors coming together to create something refreshing, tart and sweet. I loved it so much I made it from every batch of farmers market corn I bought, but as summer laziness kicked in, I began slacking on the recipe steps. I began leaving out the thyme, which I didn’t grow in my garden this year, and just microwaved the corn in the husk for 5 minutes before shucking it. That was all the cooking it really needed, although it was equally delicious completely raw on days where there wasn’t even time for that. The key to this recipe for me is the lime rather than lemon, it makes for an interesting pairing with the basil. I know that I am posting this a day after labor day, the unofficial end to summer, but technically the summer solstice isn’t over until Sept 21st. As long as my garden keeps pumping out September tomatoes and basil and the farmer’s market continues to give me corn, this recipe will continue another month longer.

Summer Corn Salad with Tomatoes and Basil – barely adapted from Bon Appétit’s Charred Corn Salad| July 2012

  • 6 ears of corn
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup  fresh basil leaves, ripped into small pieces
  • 2-3 limes, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme – optional
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

Microwave corn in the husk for 5 minutes and let cool. Remove husks and  silk and shuck corn from the cob. Place onion in a strainer and rinse with cold water to reduce it’s pungency; drain. Mix onions, oil, tomatoes, basil, lime juice, and thyme together with corn in a bowl. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more lime juice, if desired. Serve room temperature.

Sugar Snap Pea and Red Bean Salad

30 Jun

What you call a food often determines whether a child will eat it. Kids love sugar snap peas, my little cousins eat them right off my vines and the older kids seem to like them as well. I think it’s partly because sugar and snap sounds fun and delicious. The addition of sugar to this dressing doesn’t hurt either!

Sugar Snap Pea and Red Bean Salad

  • 2 cups Sugar Snap Peas or String Beans
  • 1 can dark red kidney beans
  • 1/4 cup red onion, fine dice
  • 2 TBL parsley, minced
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar

Place chopped onion in an ice bath for 10 minutes to remove any overly pungent flavors and then drain. Blanch snap peas and place in an ice bath to set the color. Rinse the kidney beans well. Simmer vinegar, oil and sugar in a saucepan until sugar dissolves. Combine beans and onions in a bowl and pour warm ( but not hot) dressing over it. Let cool and toss in snap peas and parsley. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Let marinate for 20 minutes before serving for best flavor.