There are few as ephemeral and wonder summer delights as fresh corn on the cob. When it comes in season it is plentiful and cheap, and you can leave the grocery store or a farm stand with a dozen ears without straining your budget. You then have a choice: after shucking it in the microwave you can invite some friends over for dinner to share the wealth, or you can cook all the ears at once and get a few different recipes from your bounty.
I happened to have some ears left over after last week’s tutorial and decided to make the early summer version of late summer corn salad. Aside from the corn, which was briefly blanched in boiling water until tender, everything in this salad is fresh, including the basil, which came straight from the garden. I had Isobel pick it for me (I’m lucky it all didn’t end up in her mouth) and she helped me tear it into bits and sprinkle on top. If you were a very lucky person who happened to plant onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and corn in their garden, you could make this salad entirely out of your own produce. I think I have a new goal.
Although I wouldn’t let Isobel help with the chopping I did have her help make the honey mustard dressing. That girl wields a mean whisk. She also helped me pick out the tomatoes, but I eventually had to take that over when she started naming them and making friends. The dressing itself is dead easy to make, and if you have any left over it makes a great dipping sauce for chicken nuggets or even bits of fried or baked tofu. I don’t add any shallots to this dressing because the salad itself has enough allium-pep from the scallions. For a richer version, substitute mayonnaise for the olive oil.
FOR THE SALAD:
- 1 scallion, white and green parts, sliced
- cucumber, English, about a third of a really large one, half of a smaller one, halved and sliced
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 ear of corn, kernels separated from the cob
- 3-4 large leaves of basil, shredded
FOR THE DRESSING:
- 1 tbs olive oil, not extra virgin
- 2 tsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tbs Dijon mustard
- 1-2 tbs honey
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Prepare all vegetables and toss well.
- Combine salad dressing ingredients and whisk well to combine. Taste to adjust seasoning and add more honey if desired.
- Drizzle honey mustard dressing on top of your salad and then toss feathery handfuls of torn basil on top.