It’s getting to be that time again…hot and seriously humid days, the kids are driving us crazy (even those of us without kids), you don’t want to do anything that requires you to move (with all that humidity, moving makes you feel like you took another shower again only this time it was in swamp water) and if you eat anything other than ice cream, you want it to be simple, cooling and delicious. Summer salads seem to hit their peak right about now. The best tomatoes, corn and zucchini hit the market (or garden patch) in August. This fresh corn salad recipe is one of those perfect one dish meals for these long and sluggish hot summer days.
I know I’m not the only one who thinks like this, but this time of year (when it gets so hot and humid) stupid little things irritate the bejebus out of me. Things like the woman in front of you at the grocery store check out line forgets something, takes forever to come back, and when she comes back she ends up paying with a check (and I’ve got 2 items to buy…one of which is ice cream that is now melting down my arm but I don’t feel it because my hand is numb from holding it). Or finally going out to dinner with my husband and he’s on his cell phone, checking the 8 bazillion e-mails he gets everyday (ok, that one bothers me regardless of the temperature outside). But doesn’t that drive you crazy when you’re out to eat and your dining companion(s) are incessantly on their phones?
From time to time, Craig and I go out to eat with a group of our friends. These are all people that have worked with Craig over the years. Our most recent meal just about sent me over the edge. We were seated next to Ken Paves, Kate Beckinsale, Eva Longoria and Victoria Beckham. Not one person at our table (aside from me) noticed because they were too busy texting. Who were they texting? They were all texting each other!!! They do this all the time. I contemplated jumping onto our table and kicking all of the dishes into their laps and telling them to knock it off, but Craig told me this would be bad form. My seething glare told him that ‘bad form’ was all of them texting each other rather than actually carrying on a conversation. When he stopped using his phone, everyone looked up to see what was wrong. Conversation started. FYI…no one was texting about our table neighbors, they were just carrying on a bunch of different conversations…which all could have been vocalized.
Enter a brave restauranteur….Mark Gold, of Eva Restaurant. I <3 this man. Not for the fact that he and his wife Alejandra are two very nice people who live and breathe their restaurant, not for the fact that his food is outstanding, but because he is so irritated by the cellphone usage at his restaurant that he is offering a 5% discount to diners that leave their cell phone at the door upon arrival. His reasoning is to eliminate texting, emailing and calls that interrupt the relaxing activity of eating dinner. I love it for a couple of other reasons. I can eat my food, while it’s still warm and not have to wait for everyone to take a picture of every dish before I can eat. I also like the peace and quite it offers me, while I’m enjoying my food, and not have to listen to the person, at the table next to me, discussing their obstructed bowel issue with a friend who called, during dinner, to “catch up.”
Of course, one way to avoid all this drama is to just make dinner at home. I completely understand that going out to eat in the summer is great because you don’t end up heating up your kitchen and you save yourself one of those “swampy showers” by not having to do the dishes, but that’s when summer salads come to the rescue. With the smaller appetite you usually have in warmer weather, you don’t eat as much and you can be totally satisfied with any one of a zillion different summer salads to fill you up.
One of my favorites to make this time of year is a fresh corn salad recipe. Obviously, it features fresh corn (which is at its peak right now), but it also has lots of fresh tomatoes that also taste really good right now. I fill in the rest of the bowl with pretty much any other vegetable at its tasty peak at the market. For some added protein, I toss in a container of tiny fresh mozzarella balls.
Sometimes a corn salad recipe uses raw corn and sometimes it calls for grilled corn. Either could be used in this corn salad recipe, but I use lightly cooked corn (3 minutes). I do this because cooking it just a little bit helps to reduce that starchy flavor you get when you use uncooked corn.
We eat this salad as a main course the first night and then eat it as a side dish for a few days after that. I also mix it with leftover grilled chicken or salmon. That’s one of the great things about this corn salad recipe, the only required ingredient is corn…after that, it’s completely up to you.
What do you do to make your life easier this time of year?
Life is gonna pass you by if don’t put down that damn phone.
Recipe: Fresh Corn Salad Recipe
- 5 Tablespoons Champagne Vinegar
- 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1/2 Teaspoon Grainy or Dijon Mustard
- Kosher Salt
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 4 Cups Corn
- 1 1/2 Cups Peppers (rings from mini bells or diced from larger peppers)
- 1 1/2 Cups Shelled Fresh Chickpeas
- 1 Cup Green Onions (finely chopped)
- 3/4 Cup Zucchini (cut into small strips)
- 2 Cups Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
- 8 Ounces Mozzarella Pearls (or fresh mozzarella diced)
- 1 Cup Thai Basil Leaves
- Add all ingredients to a small container (salt and pepper to taste) and whisk to combine.
- Cover and chill until ready to serve.
- Cook ears of corn for 3 minutes either in a pot of boiling water or in the microwave.
- Once corn is cool enough to handle, cut the kernals from the cob and place into a large bowl.
- Add the rest of the salad ingredients into the bowl and mix well.
- Cover and chill for 2 hours. (If you are serving this later than 2 hours, mix in the basil leaves before serving.)
- Just before serving, mix in the salad dressing.
You can cook the corn more or less to your choosing.
Feel free to substitute vegetables.
Preparation time: 30 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegetarian
Diet tags: Gluten free
Number of servings (yield): 8
Culinary tradition: USA (General)