Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Rosie's Fresh Corn And Bean Summer Salad.

I always like to have an assortment of fresh and refreshing summer salads on hand for a quick snack with chips or for a cool, light, colorful side dish. During summer, I savor the flavors of summer. There's no better way than with fresh corn, especially when a good neighbor brings you a bagful of just-picked Currituck corn.
Today, I'm making a fresh corn and black bean salad that's full of bright flavors, contrasting textures, and pretty colors.
My ingredients. Rosie's Fresh Corn and Bean Salad For the salad: 3 ears fresh corn 1/2 cup dried black beans 2 small peppers, small dice 1 medium tomato, peeled, seeded, juiced, and chopped 1 scallion, chopped 3 TB chopped red onion For the vinaigrette: 1/2 cup lime juice (3 limes) 1 TB balsamic vinegar 1/2 cup olive oil I used Extra Light Bertolli Olive Oil. ELBOO! 1/2 tsp cumin 1 tsp minced cilantro 5 basil leaves, chiffonade freshly ground salt and pepper to taste To prepare the corn: Slice the kernels off. Heat 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon ELBOO in a pan over medium high heat. Add in corn, turn heat to high, and toss/flip corn. It's all in the wrist. You want to keep the corn moving constantly. Or you can stir it with a wooden spoon, but the other way is much funner. After a minute of sauteing, add about 1 TB sugar. The sugar enhances the natural sweetness of the corn and helps to caramelize the corn. Keep cooking and tossing until the corn is nicely caramelized. Add freshly ground salt and pepper to taste. Let cool. For the beans: I always use dried beans. Don't like canned beans at all. To prepare the beans, don't worry about the instructions on the bag that tell you to soak the beans overnight. Not necessary. I rinse the beans in cold water and add them to salted boiling water. Reduce to simmer. After 20 minutes drain and rinse the beans in a colander and refresh the water. Bring to a boil and add beans. Reduce to simmer and cook for about 20 minutes. I start taste-testing for doneness after 10 minutes. Let cool. Assemble the salad: Combine corn, beans, peppers, onions, and tomatoes. Prepare vinaigrette: Mix lime and balsamic vinegar. Slowly whisk in ELBOO until emulsified. Add in cumin, cilantro, and basil. Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste. Pour over salad.
A few months ago when I was visiting Maxine in Danville, we went to the farmer's market Saturday morning and I found this species of culantro which I've never seen before.
I never would have known this was cilantro by looking at it. It doesn't look anything like the cilantro I'm familiar with. The taste is milder and more subtle than the cilantro you get in the produce section. This is your usual cilantro.
A good way to cut off the kernels without them flying everywhere and making a big mess is to invert a small bowl inside a larger bowl and set the ear on the inverted bowl. Kernels stay in the big bowl.
Saute the kernels with a little sugar until caramelized.
Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool.
Slice the scallions ...
Add to the beans.
Dice the peppers ...
... and add in.
Chop the onion.
Add to the mix.
Check out my tomato peel.
It's an entire whole peel. Sometimes I impress myself.
Seed and juice. The way you do that is to slice your tomato in half horizontally, hold a half in one hand and, with the other, stick your fingers into the jelly pockets which hold the seeds. Squeeze the tomato with one hand and use your fingers of the other to release the jelly and seeds.
Chop the cleaned tomatoes.
Add 'maters to the mix.
On to the dressing.
1/2 cup lime juice (3 limes) 1/2 cup ELBOO 1 TB balsamic vinegar 1/2 tsp cumin 1 tsp minced cilantro 5 basil leaves, chiffonade
Pour in the lemon juice.
I meant to put in the balsamic next, but I forgot. I gradually whisked in the ELBOO ...
... until nicely thickened.
I seasoned with freshly ground salt and pepper. And added the forgotten balsamic vinegar.
Cumin in. And I missed the cup when I shot the picture.
To make a chiffonade, I stacked 5 basil leaves, rolled them up, and ...
... sliced them.
Add the basil to the mix.
This culantro is an interesting plant.
Notice it's getting ready to bloom. Must.collect.seeds.
Give it more of a mince than this. I liked the leaves here and shot the picture.
Add in the minced culantro.
Pour the dressing over and mix well.
I love having an assortment of summer vegetable salads in the fridge. They're great for quick snacks during the day. Light and cool, and packed with fresh flavors, they're colorful, nutritious, and most importantly, they be good eats.
They taste like summer.
Try it. You'll like it.

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