In the summer I'm always planning meals around what produce is in season at the farmers market. Gone are the days of cheesy casseroles and braised meats or stews — summer's all about celebrating fresh, colorful produce. And this salad does just that.
I actually set out to make a cold succotash salad with sweet corn and lima beans and a nice, summery vinaigrette. But then I decided I really wanted to cook soley from the farmers market and not rely on any frozen or canned vegetables. And that's how this Italian-inspired summer corn salad came to be.
The corn and the tomatoes are a given, but I decided fresh mint would add a welcome brightness and the pine nuts a nice toasty crunch. Between the firm corn, juicy tomatoes, fragrant mint, and crunchy pine nuts, you've got yourself one satisfying warm-weather side dish.
So while this recipe cheats a little on the 6 ingredient recommendation (I didn't count the olive oil or salt and pepper!), it's as simple as a quick trip to your farmers market. You could do a Mexican-inspired version with avocados and cilantro if you'd like or add zucchini, parsley and red onion. The options are virtually endless.
Summer Corn Salad
serves 4 to 6
5 ears fresh corn, husked 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 4 tablespoons pine nuts 4 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 3 tablespoons good quality olive oil Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 325°F and lay pinenuts out on a cookie sheet. Toast them for 8-10 minutes or until just fragrant and slightly brown.
In a medium-sized pot, boil the corn until kernels are just soft, about three minutes. Place in a bath of cold water to stop the cooking. Once cool, slice the kernels off the cob and pour into your favorite serving bowl.
Toss in cherry tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, fresh chopped mint, oil and vinegar and mix until just combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve cold or at room temperature.