august 27, 2016
How lucky we are that corn and tomatoes are in season at the same time, because there is nothing better than an ear of buttered sweet corn next to sun ripened sliced tomatoes on your plate, adorned with nothing but a light sprinkle of your favorite salt.
But you know I like to play with my food. While simply prepared seasonal produce is usually preferred, for both easy preparation time and enjoyment of peak flavor, I do enjoy pairing vegetables with a simple vinaigrette. I promise myself that with each shopping trip to the Asian food mart, I will bring home something new to try. In recent months, shirataki noodles, both plain and kelp flavored, have kept company with unusual pickled and fermented items on the pantry shelves. All time favorite finds? The stout little cans of curry pastes, colorful and fiery hot, each with its own distinct aroma and taste. Once opened, I transfer each paste to glass jars and store in the freezer, with no loss of flavor or texture when I need them for a recipe. My Aha! moment of choosing vinaigrette ingredients for local corn and tomatoes came when I peered into the freezer and saw those cute little jars of curry paste, beckoning me to pair one with oil and vinegar and garlic for a wave of flavor for my veggies.
Although avocados are not seasonal, al least around these parts, they make a fine partner for corn and tomatoes. And I just happen to have several pots of Thai basil which need regular trimming to keep from flowering (I do let a few sprigs flower to keep hummingbirds, bees and butterflies happy). Put all these colorful things together and there you have an easy summer salad, especially if you make the vinaigrette ahead, and if you are so inclined, add grilled protein or cheese to make this a complete, light supper for a sultry summer evening.
recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company
makes four servings
green curry paste – 2 teaspoons for flavor and little heat, 3 teaspoons for heat
one medium garlic clove, zested or minced fine
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt – I like La Baleine
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar – I like Bragg’s organic
3 tablespoons neutral oil like canola, peanut or grape seed
directions – may be made one week ahead; in small mixing bowl whisk together all except oil until well combined, then whisk in oil; may appear separated, so whisk again before using.
3 large ears sweet white or yellow corn, cut off the cob
1 tablespoon neutral oil like canola, peanut or grape seed
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
4 medium or two large ripe tomatoes, sliced or cut in wedges
2 Hass avocados, sliced just before serving
Thai basil (or other basil) leaves
- In heavy medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat until shimmering; add corn and salt, turn heat to low and cook for 2-3 minutes until tender-crisp, stirring occasionally.
- Allow corn to cool to room temperature.
- On each of four plates (or one large platter), arrange tomato with corn and avocado.
- Stir or shake vinaigrette well and drizzle over salad.
- Garnish if desired with Thai basil leaves.