Hello everyone! There’s nothing quite like Summer in the South! I know I was born and raised down here because I love the heat! (in moderation…I wouldn’t forgo my AC…. 😉 ) But honestly? Isn’t there something invigorating and soothing at the same time when you are relaxing in your yard or on your porch just early enough in the evening when the intense heat of the day starts to subside? Ponytails and bare feet…ice cold beverages and a good book…lazy days and garden fresh eats?!? Yes please!
The Fourth of July, our nation’s 236th birthday, is right around the corner! I’m sure there are lots of cookouts being planned this week. And while everyone is celebrating our great nation…there will be lots and lots of fresh veggies ready to be used from your gardens! So, between now and the 4th I am going to be posting a few ideas on how to use up some of those wonderfully fresh just-picked vegetables. Well, fruit too…because tomatoes are a fruit after all.
I am going to focus on cucumbers and tomatoes to start. I had a bunch of cucumbers given to me by my mom last week and this week I had 2 GINORMOUS cucumbers and one itty bitty cucumber ready for picking in my garden. And….my friend Leesa had a bunch of heirloom cherry tomatoes. I bought 2 pints and wish I had bought more! They are so delicious!
Okay, enough blabber. I wanted to first post a great side to bring to your 4th of July bbq. Everyone always has the same old sides….baked beans and coleslaw. Now, while I love the classics, they sure don’t get your taste buds hopping do they? And with all the garden fresh stuff everywhere shouldn’t we be making something with that goodness? Well, we are today!
Charred Corn Salad! It’s really quite simple and can be made the day before.
This wonderful dish does not take very many ingredients at all.
So, strip your corn and throw some butter in your good old cast iron skillet. If you want to break out the grill go right ahead! I didn’t have anything else to grill today so I grilled inside. I really need a cast iron grill pan…but alas, I have yet to acquire one.
Throw the corn in on about medium high heat, salt and pepper, and let it sit on each side enough to slightly char the outside of the corn.
While the corn is cooking, prepare the other ingredients. Remember to regularly rotate the corn.
Cut cherry tomatoes in half and roughly dice the large tomato. Dice up about a half of a red onion. Toss into a large bowl.
Now for the dressing you are just going to throw everything into the food processor.
a couple bunches of fresh basil (from your garden)
1 clove grated garlic (I find one is enough…but feel free to add more)
approx. 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
approx. 1/4 cup of olive oil
fresh pepper to taste
After that is blended up and you are satisfied with the taste, dice a small shallot and add to the blended mixture. Do not blend the shallots. Set aside.
Now the corn should be nicely and semi-evenly charred. Place on your cutting board and allow to cool for a few minutes.
Once the corn is cool enough to handle, cut in half so you can easily stand the corn cob up on the cutting board as in the picture above. Carefully cut the kernels off as close as you can…you want to get all the corn off! Repeat until all the pieces have been cut.
Toss the corn into the tomato mixture and pour in enough dressing to coat everything. Add cracked black pepper, cover, and chill in the refrigerator for about and hour. Give everything a good stir right before serving!
Now, doesn’t that look delicious?
Note: Add fresh avocado just before serving. Use extra dressing on salads or dip yummy bread in it for a tasty treat!
Check out how I reinvented this salad and used it in Fish Tacos!
Charred Corn Salad
2 tbs butter
2 ears of fresh corn
1 large heirloom tomato
1.5 pints of baby heirlooms (a couple large handfuls)
1/2 red onion
2 bunches of basil
1 clove of garlic, grated
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small shallot
sea salt & pepper
Heat butter in cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Peel off corn husks and silk and discard. Place corn in skillet and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Allow to cook and char on each side. Rotate regularly.
Meanwhile, cut baby heirloom tomatoes in half and roughly dice the large tomato. Dice onion. Toss in a large bowl.
Add basil, garlic, vinegar, and olive oil to food processor. Pulse until blended well together. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in diced shallot and cracked pepper.
Once corn is cooked and evenly charred, remove from heat and place on cutting board to cool. Cut corn in half and stand each half up on the cutting board as you slice the kernels off carefully. Try to cut close enough to get all of the kernel off the cob.
Toss the corn in the bowl of tomatoes and onion and drizzle with enough dressing to coat evenly. Add fresh cracked pepper to taste. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Stir and serve!