Fresh Corn Salad
July 29 2020
Mid summer brings the most delicious vegetables, especially corn. It couldn't be sweeter than at this time of the year.
My grandfather, Zaide Sam, was a farmer in Ontario, Canada. His farm was in Leamington on Lake Erie. As children, we would go to the farm every summer and ride around on his tractors and enjoy the country lifestyle. Swimming, playing, and eating amazing fruits and vegetables from the farm stands. In particular, the corn that we would get was amazing! There would be this big pot of boiling water and corn, and when you'd order some, they would pluck it out of the pot, slather it with butter and give it to you to enjoy right there. I remember us kids sitting on the bench with butter running down our chins as we devoured this sweet corn...
While it's not the same as being in Leamington, just a short drive from my cabin near Flagstaff, AZ is a wonderful fruit stand with the most delicious corn. Hauser & Hauser is a farm in Camp Verde and when the corn is ready, there's nothing better. My friends, Sonja & Luigi, made the drive and supplied our last dinner party with this corn. Thank you, darlings!
I love to prepare corn in many different ways...grill it, make corn pudding, add it to salsa, throw it raw into a salad, or make a salad featuring the corn only. This fresh corn salad does just that! By simply adding scallions, white wine vinegar, olive oil and fresh basil, you have a decidedly bright, fresh summer salad that accompanies any main course.
Makes: 4-6 Servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
5 ears of corn, shucked
2 scallions, white and green parts, finely sliced
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2-1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup finely sliced fresh basil leaves
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (see Chef's Note). Boil the corn until tender-crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Do not overcook. Drain the corn and immerse it in very cold water to stop the cooking process. Place the corn on a clean dish towel set over a cutting board, then use a serrated knife to cut the kernels of the cobs. (The dish towel both dries the corn and prevents it from bouncing all over the place.)
In a large bowl, combine the kernels with the oil, vinegar, scallions, salt, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, toss in the fresh basil. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. If the salad tastes too tart, add a bit more oil; if it tastes bland, add a bit more vinegar or salt and pepper. Try adding a 1/4 teaspoon of sugar if the corn isn't as sweet as you'd like. Serve the salad cold or at room temperature.
Chef's Note: When boiling corn on the cob, be sure to add enough salt that the water tastes like the sea. Try adding a few tablespoons of sugar to the water as well -- it will enhance the corn's sweetness.