This tasty salad is very summery, consisting mainly of corn, peppers and tomatoes.
It was the result of a lazy summer evening. I didn't feel like cooking, but there were some items in the refrigerator that were in there, I could feel it, sending accusing thoughts in my direction, that I had not used them yet, and was I planning to let them go bad or something? The very thought!
What else could I do? I opened the fridge, rummaged around and found some lovely white corn, a couple of sweet bell peppers, and a little mound of specialty cherry tomatoes.
Here's the recipe:
4 ears white corn, husked and the kernels cut off (*)
1 large orange bell pepper
1 large yellow bell pepper
20 cherry tomatoes / 2 large tomatoes (**)
1 bunch chives
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
4 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. fresh coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1-2 tsp. blue agave nectar (you may substitute honey)
Fresh mixed baby salad greens
(*) If you want to cook the corn first, you can do so. I used sweet white corn and it was really very nice raw. I think the marinade may helped to remove some of the starchiness, because all I tasted was the sweetness. To cook the corn: place the ears of corn into boiling water after husking and let them boil for 3-5 minutes, enough to remove any starchy flavor. Then remove from the boiling water and plunge into ice water to stop cooking and hasten the cooling process. When cool, cut the kernels off and proceed.
(**) Red tomatoes give a great color and add a lively look. But just pick the most flavorful tomatoes you have. Heirlooms would be fun in this dish.
Place the kernels from the 4 ears of corn into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle 2 tsp. of lemon juice over them and turn them until all have some lemon juice.
Chop the bell peppers and tomatoes into small pieces -- they don't need to be as small as the corn kernels but maybe 2-4 times larger -- still pretty finely chopped. Put the rest of the chopped items in the bowl with the corn and sprinkle a little more lemon juice on the mixture while stirring to ensure everything is coated with the marinade. Chop the chives very finely and mix them in evenly.
Now add 1 tsp of white balsamic vinegar, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 tsp black pepper, and 1 to 2 tsp of blue agave nectar to taste, to balance the acidity of the lemon juice and balsamic vinegar. As you add each item, again stir all the chopped ingredients so everything is coated evenly.
Add 1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese and stir just to distribute evenly.
Serve chilled on top of fresh baby greens. Garnish with a sprinkle of shredded or shaved Parmesan cheese on top.
Substitute lime juice for lemon juice, use finely chopped cilantro instead of chives, and add some dried red pepper flakes for a Southwestern flair. You could also add some finely chopped red onion, and if you wanted to make it a more substantial dish you could add black beans, continuing the Southwestern theme.