I declared this week Salad Week in my home. I thought I would give the oven and stove a little break since the warmer days have been keeping afternoon/early-evening temperatures a bit high in my kitchen. I’ve prepared enough of my favorite Caesar salad dressing to last several days which actually gets more flavorful with each passing day because of its generous ration of anchovies and garlic. But I’ve left room for other types of salads. I have been longing for the taste of summer after all.
During summer, one of my go-to salads highlights the sweet bounties of the season. Fresh corn makes a regular appearance in our menu–sometimes grilled but mostly I just boil it for 5-6 minutes and enjoy it as is. Most times I cook extra ears with this salad in mind, pairing the sweet kernels with cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and bringing it all together with a garlicky balsamic vinaigrette. It’s a no-fuss salad that rewards with ultra-fresh flavors that pop in your mouth.
I have decided to skip growing tomatoes this year–until I get a greenhouse I will continue to lose my battle with the tomato-loving deer. I have accepted this. Thankfully, I live in California where fresh, high-quality produce is never hard to find. But I will always grow herbs in my garden. I have no basil yet so I couldn’t resist adding fresh mint this time since they have taken off in my yard.
When I long for summer flavors, this simple salad hits the spot every time.
- 2 cups cooked corn, kernels removed from the cob (or 1 15 oz can fresh corn)
- 1 handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 small handful of fresh basil chiffonade
- A few pieces fresh mint chiffonade (optional)
- For the vinaigrette:
- 1-2 cloves fresh garlic minced
- 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare the vinaigrette by whisking all the ingredients together until emulsified. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, add the corn kernels, tomatoes, basil and mint. Add just one or two tablespoons of the salad dressing at a time and toss gently.
- This salad is great chilled. If you do this, chill the corn and tomatoes and only add the basil and mint when you’re ready to toss everything together.