Friday, July 30, 2010

Sweet Corn Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Here's what Farmer John had for us in Silver Lake this week:
Daikon radish
Golden zucchini
Sweet corn
Dandelion greens
Red chard
Tuscan kale
Romaine lettuce
Cherry tomatoes
Squash blossoms
Lemon basil

And here's what Tara brought back from Underwood Family Farms:
Bicolor sweet corn
Texas sweet onions
Japanese turnips
Red seedeless watermelon
Galia melon
Red leaf lettuce
Celebrity tomatoes

Nothing screams summer like fresh-picked sweet corn. Grilled or boiled, and slathered with butter and salt, fresh corn is a classic American treat. It's fun to eat, too. Pick it up in your hands and gnaw the kernals off the cob. Few foods offer that kind of primal pleasure.

You can make a delicious salad with fresh, sweet corn. Just grill up a few ears, cut off the kernels and mix it up with some onion, pepper, herbs, and a light vinaigrette. I've been using some of Farmer John's tasty lemon basil in my corn salads this season. It adds a beautiful bright flavor and color that complements the creamy sweetness of the corn.

(Pics show jewels from Rebecca's garden, without her since July 6. Bye sweet lady, I miss you but sometimes I think you're still here - Tara.)

Sweet Corn Salad
2-3 ears sweet corn, grilled or boiled and cooled
1 small red onion*
1 small or medium red bell pepper**
2 green onions
About 20-25 lemon basil leaves, more or less to taste
1/4 C olive oil
3 T cider vinegar or rice vinegar
1/2 orange
1 t agave syrup, optional
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cut the kernels off the corn and put them in a bowl. Compost the cobs, or feed them to the chickens - my birds love them.

2. Finely chop the red onion and add it to the corn kernels.

3. Seed and dice the red bell pepper and add it to the corn and onions.

4. Finely chop the green onions and add them to the bowl.

5. Tear the lemon basil leaves into coarse pieces and add them to the bowl.

6. In a separate small bowl or 1-2 C measuring cup, mix the oil and vinegar together. Using a microplane grater, grate the zest of 1/2 orange and squeeze its juice into the vinaigrette. Stir in the agave syrup.

7. Pour the vinaigrette over the corn salad. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

This salad gets better when it sits a little, so make it a few hours or even a day ahead.

*You can use the Texas sweet onion from Underwood Farm instead of red onion, but use only about 1/4 of the Texas sweet onion, as the ones we received today are pretty big.

**You can use green, purple, or orange bell pepper if you prefer. I'd avoid yellow bell pepper simply because of the color.



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