On Simple Pleasures & Simple Summer Corn & Tomato Salad

Sometimes having kids means that you trade in big excitements for little ones.

Take yesterday for instance. Yesterday was the first day of our Summer mini staycay. So we figured we'd pack up the family and go do something. Out there. In the world. Not stuck at home.

Maybe Balboa Park. Maybe a hike. Maybe The Museum of Making Music. Just anything that would have felt like we were going somewhere and doing something... Until your almost two year old decides she's going to start being pretty terrible on you, and it becomes clear that she is not fit for public consumption.

And no one's going anywhere that makes you feel like you went somewhere and did something. Because that wouldn't be decent or fair to anyone. Not. any. one.

But one of the kids wants steak for dinner, and that is something you can make happen without being a menace to society. So grilled aged ribeyes it is. With some of this simple, fresh, and seasonal corn and tomato salad.

And that's how you trade in one big excitement for two little ones until the next big opportunity presents itself. :)

Simple Summer Corn & Tomato Salad
Serves 4 to 6
Time: About 25 minutes

If your corn is exceptionally sweet, you can use the kernels raw, and you'll have an even fresher, crisper salad to enjoy in less time. But sauteing the corn does bring out a different flavor and texture, and each variation is worth trying at least once.

If you're going to saute your corn, I suggest you do that first, set the corn aside in your salad bowl to cool, give it a couple of stirs or tosses to release some of the heat, and then do your knifework on the rest of the ingredients while the corn cools.

And you already know I'm not such a stickler for upscale ingredients, but if you can get your hands on some sweet, flavorful heirloom tomatoes, they really do make the salad better.

If you'd like to give it a slightly more complex flavor, some optional spices that would work well individually in this salad in small amounts (1/8 to 1/4 teaspoonful): cumin, chipotle, smoked paprika, coriander, or even a little curry powder.

- 2 cobs' worth of fresh, sweet corn kernels (how to remove kernels from corn HERE)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil (1 for sauteing corn, 1 for dressing)
- 2 medium beefsteak tomatoes (heirlooms are great if you can get 'em), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/4 to 1/2 small sweet onion, minced
- 5 to 6 leaves basil, chiffonaded/chopped (fresh mint, parsley, and cilantro also work well)
- 2 to 2.5 Tablespoons of white or red wine vinegar or fresh lemon or lime juice
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- a pinch (about 1/8 teaspoon) sugar
- a few shakes or grinds of black pepper

1) If you're going to saute your corn, preheat your pan and 1 Tablespoon oil to medium high heat, add the corn and saute for 3 to 5 minutes, or until most of the kernels start to turn translucent. Set aside in salad bowl and cool as suggested above.

2) Add in the rest of the ingredients, starting with the lower end of the seasoning measurements, and give the salad a few gentle folds to evenly incorporate all the ingredients and seasonings.

3) Adjust seasoning if needed. If you have time to chill it in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes before serving, that's ideal, but no biggie if you don't.

Enjoy. :)




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