Thursday, August 18, 2016

Blogaversary: Corn and Tomato Summer Salad

It's officially tomato season in Apt 2A, where the tomato plant:human ratio is 3:1! (I won't delve into the overall plant:human ratio, but it is very high). I picked my first harvest recently, most of which went into this salad. My cherry tomato plant, especially, has really exploded and I expect I'll soon be drowning in cherry tomatoes.

Perhaps more importantly, this blog is a year old today! Although it has occasionally been neglected for long periods of time, I'm still quite pleased (and a little surprised) that I've been doing this for a whole year. Lots of people surprised me with their support and enthusiasm for my public ramblings about food (and occasionally plants), so thank you all for reading! In celebration, I've prepared one of the most summery things I could think of. Like all good summer recipes, this is more of a loose sketch and should be guided by whatever is freshest and most beautiful in your crisper at the moment. Or, in my case, whatever is most irresistible when you go to the farmers market and/or open your CSA box. I feel particularly proud of this dish because it includes that first crop of tomatoes from my (not-so-) little balcony garden. This made such a refreshing lunch and kept pretty well in the fridge (some liquid collected at the bottom since salt draws it out, but the flavors and textures were intact). It would be delicious as a salad, but equally wonderful with tortilla or pita chips. I hope it inspires you to go all-out the next time you're shopping for produce!

Corn and Tomato Summer Salad
Yield: 2 servings as a main, or 3-4 as a side

4 ears corn
Diced red onion, to taste (I used about 1/4 of a medium onion)
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes (I used a mix of big heirlooms and heirloom cherry tomatoes)
1/4 of a small/medium poblano pepper (or to taste), diced small
Zest and juice of 1 large lime (about 3 T juice)
1-2 cloves of garlic, pasted or minced
1 T olive oil
1/3 cup queso fresco or feta cheese, divided
1-2 T chopped parsley, divided

  1. Cook corn in boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes, until just tender (Note: I've read this takes longer for grocery store corn than for farmers market corn, so just go by the texture of the kernels if they seem too hard). Let cool, then cut of cobs and place in a medium bowl.
  2. While the corn cooks, soak the onion in ice water for about 10 minutes (this takes the bite out of it). Drain on paper towels, and add to the bowl with the corn.
  3. Add the tomatoes and peppers to the bowl, and fold gently to combine.
  4. In a small bowl or liquid measure, whisk together the lime juice and zest, garlic, and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the dressing into the bowl of vegetables and fold gently to coat.
  5. Set aside a small palmful each of queso fresco and chopped parsley, and mix the rest into the salad (the queso fresco will make things slightly less pretty, but it adds a nice creamy texture).
  6. Taste and adjust any flavors to taste (for example, I added another big squeeze of lime juice, some salt, and that second clove of garlic). Garnish with the remaining cheese and parsley, and serve at room temperature.

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