Thursday, March 29, 2012

Roasted Corn Salad

I love corn.  I love it when the local corn crops are ready and I can get a dozen ears of corn for $2 at the farmers market.  I wish I could have fresh, off the farm corn year round.  I like it boiled, grilled, roasted, on the cob, off the cob, in salads, as a side dish or I really could just eat it for a meal on it's own.  I can't wait to take a bite and have a kernel bust in my mouth.  Ahhh so simple and delicious.  This salad is wonderful if you fresh or frozen corn available to you.  It can bring a taste of summer to your table all year round.  It goes perfectly with fish, pork or chicken.  You can easily change it up and go a million directions if you want.

Here is what you will need:

For the Salad:

1 bag of frozen corn or 4 ears of fresh corn on the cob
1 pint of Cherry, Grape or Strawberry Tomatoes (your preference or whatever looks good).  Cut in half.
1/2 a Hot House or English  Cumber (peeled, seeded and cut in a medium dice)
2 scallions small cut on the bias, whites and greens
1/3 pint pitted Kalamata Olives cut in half
1 avocado diced
1 red jalapeno seeds and ribs removed and small dice (leave some ribs or seeds if you like it spicier)
1/2 of a Red, Yellow or Orange Bell Pepper Medium dice
3 tablespoons fresh Cilantro, fine chiffonade.
Nice hunk of feta cheese to crumble (I usually figure 1/4 pound or just under.  You can use more or less depending on your preference.
Salt & Pepper
zest of 1 lime and a squeeze of lime juice

For the Dressing (you will only need about 1/2 the dressing for the salad but I always put some on the table for those that want an extra drizzle and it will keep for about 2wks in the fridge so you can use it on another salad or make more corn salad):

1 lime juice and zest plus the remaining juice from the lime you used for the salad.
3 tablespoons of honey
2 garlic cloves
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup light olive oil (not extra virgin) or vegetable or Canola oil
3 tablespoons Fresh Cilantro Leaves (no stems)
1/2 teaspoon of salt


Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Spread your corn out on a baking sheet.  If using fresh ears of corn you can roast on or off the cob (your preference) if you roast on the cob,  just allow time for the cobs to cool completely before you cut off the kernels and add to salad.  Put sheet tray in oven for about 15 to 20 mins.  Check as you go.  Corn should have nice browning when done.

While the corn is roasting.  Prep your other salad ingredients and toss in your large mixing bowl.  Once corn is done and cooled add to salad bowl.  Sprinkle with salt, add lime zest and a little squeeze of juice.  Mix gently, cover and refrigerate.  (This can be done up to a day in advance).  Do not add the Feta cheese, this should be added right before serving.

To make the dressing, toss all ingredients except for oil into your blender or food processor.  Pulse until all ingredients are pureed together.  Once pureed, slowly drizzle in the oil.  The dressing should become creamy.  Don't blend to much after creamy consistency is achieved or it will thicken too much and become more of an aioli. 

About 30 minutes before serving, drizzle about 1/2 or your dressing over the salad and mix together.  Add your crumbled feta and gently toss. 

Serve family style or plate with your main dish.

I promise this salad will be a hit and is extremely delicious.

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