Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Summer Corn Salad

With fresh corn by the dozen tempting us at farmers markets and grocery stores, small households may be overwhelmed by the bounty.  Last summer, the corn growers at my farmers market showed me how to buy in bulk and freeze.  Simply shuck the ears and pack them uncooked into freezer quality plastic bags. To enjoy the golden kernels during the winter, place the frozen ears directly into a pot of boiling water for 10-12 minutes, until the cobs are heated through, drain and enjoy.  While it takes some dedication to shuck 50 ears of corn (their recommended haul) it has a great payoff when the heat waves finally wear off and fresh corn is a distant memory. 

For those who’d like to enjoy corn leftovers right away, buy more than your family can consume tonight and plan on an easy side dish tomorrow that can be served hot or cold.  This corn and asparagus salad can be tossed with cooked pasta or left as is.  My version includes leftover grilled asparagus, fresh tomatoes and black olives but let your leftovers and larder inspire you.  Roasted red peppers, cooked green beans, grilled zucchini and  fresh herbs like basil, parsley or tarragon (all corn-friendly) will create a new look for your cooked veggies.  Adding pasta will extend the dish and useful if you have unexpected guests. 

Corn and Asparagus Salad
Serves 4-6 as a side dish


Ingredients
2 ears cooked corn
10-12 spears grilled asparagus
1 tomato
1 tablespoon sliced black olives
1 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon  extra virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
Optional: 2 cups cooked pasta, like (about 1 cup uncooked)

Method
  1. Remove kernels from ears of corn.  There are many implements for this but I like to use a serrated knife to scrape the kernels into a wide bowl that will catch wayward kernels.
  2. Slice asparagus and tomatoes into bite-sized pieces.  
  3. Toss corn, asparagus, tomatoes and olives together in a large serving bowl.  Add drained pasta if using.  
  4. Toss with vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.  This is a very small amount of dressing to allow the vegetable flavors to come through.  If you are using pasta, double the amount of oil and vinegar.