Summer produce is such a wonderful thing. As you may have read in my last post, my neighbors gave me a bounty of fresh tomatoes from their organic garden. I made a Slow Roasted Organic Tomato Bisque that was delicious. I decided I needed to share some of the bisque with my neighbors, since it was their sharing that made the bisque possible in the first place. As I passed a bowl over the back fence (we talk to each other through the 6 foot fence like they used to do on that TV show “Home Improvement”) Kate passed over more big, beautiful ripe tomatoes! Oh the joy!
I had just bought some ears of sweet corn, and knew that they were destined to be joined with those red, ripe and juicy tomatoes. But something was missing…yellow corn, red tomatoes, but no green. I often think up recipes in terms of colors first, not flavors. Once I have the colors, the flavors are easy to come up with.
Fresh herbs abound in summer and they are green, but which should I use? Tarragon? That would be very yummy. Oregano? That would be tasty too. Basil? That’s what I’m talkin’ about! Sweet basil, fragrant basil, bright green basil. And my friend Holland had a gazillion basil plants in her backyard for me to go “borrow” from. So I called Holland and asked if I could come by and get some basil, which she graciously allowed me to do. I now had the shades of summer; bright yellow, deep red and verdant green.
Sweet Corn, Tomato and Basil Salad
4 ears fresh corn, shucked
6 cups chopped fresh organic tomatoes, about 4 large
1 cup whole basil leaves + 1/4 cup basil chiffonade (thinly sliced)
1 medium shallot, roughly chopped
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Yuzu rice vinegar* or white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
In a large , deep pot of boiling water blanch the corn for about 3-4 minutes. Fresh corn does not take long to cook, so do not overcook it. Remove the corn from the boiling water and place into a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking and cool the corn.
Meanwhile, place the chopped tomatoes into a large bowl.
Once the corn has cooled, carefully cut the kernels from the corn cobs.
Place the kernels into the bowl with the tomatoes while you make the vinaigrette.
In a food processor, place the whole basil leaves, shallot, salt, pepper and yuzu vinegar.
*I used a Yuzu Rice Vinegar, which added a citrus kick to the salad. A Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit, whose rind is very aromatic. You do not have to have a yuzu vinegar, as a white balsamic or champagne vinegar would also work very nicely in the dressing.
Process the mixture until it is very smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Slowly drizzle in the oil while the processor is running, until the vinaigrette becomes thickened and emulsified.
Pour the vinaigrette over the corn and tomatoes, add the basil chiffonade, and gently mix them together.
This is a salad that should be eaten right away. The flavors really shine when it is fresh, but it good the next day also. The tomatoes will continue to release their juices, so expect any leftovers to be really juicy. I suggest dipping some crusty bread into the juice. Don’t want to be wasteful, do we?