Sunday, July 09, 2006

Essence of summer corn salad


My mother-in-law visited this week from Texas to help us settle in. I asked her to bring her famous New Orleans spicy shrimp recipe (which she has been making for the past 30 years or so!) so I could add a southern recipe to my repertoire (I will share the recipe soon). We had the wonderful spicy shrimp on Saturday night with “Texas caviar” (to come in a later post). On Sunday, it was back to the barbeque with hot dogs accompanied by fresh corn salad made with local Long Island corn.

I’ve made this corn salad a gazillion times and love it every time. It is the essence of summer – sweet fresh corn and light flavors -- and is a welcome alternative to corn on the cob. The cider vinegar brings out the sweetness in the corn without overpowering it and the red onion and scallions give it just enough kick. The trick is not to over-cook the corn -- the kernels need only be cooked until they lose their starchiness (but still retain their crunch).

Fresh corn salad from the Barefoot Contessa (she says it serves 10-12 but 6 will readily devour this!)

5 tablespoons good-quality olive oil
8 cups fresh corn kernels (10-12 ears)
1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup small diced red onion
¼ cup thinly sliced scallion, white and green parts (2 scallions)
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 cup julienned basil leaves

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. When oil is hot, add corn, salt, and pepper and cook for 5 minutes (or less) until just cooked and no longer starchy. Remove from heat and stir in red onion, scallion, cider vinegar and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Allow salad to cool; stir in basil before serving. Serve cold or at room temperature.

3 comments:

susanrz said...

This was a light and delicious side dish for our summer lunch out on the patio. It would be perfect for a picnic or a campout. What amazed me about watching my new daughter-in-law cook it was how fast the corn kernals came off the fire. It seemed that she had just put them in the saute pan when she was already removing them. Seriously, maybe 2 minutes. She said that was the trick to not overcooking the corn. I am giving this recipe to my gourmet cook, sister-in-law, for her summer cooking days in southern France. She will love it.

Mary said...

I made this tonight sans the red onion - there was none - and it was fabulous.

sista said...

I cheated. I admit it. It's fall and there is no more fresh summer corn. So I bought a can of "premium" white corn niblets and made this as a supper side tonight without further cheating EXCEPT I used white wine vinegar instead of cider vinegar. Was delish. Could have passed it off as fresh even to a corn farmer or to the skrockodile herself.

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