I know it may be hard to believe, but I actually have slept in a corn field. No, it wasn't during my crazy college years. I was 11 years old and attending my friend's sleepover birthday party. Since it was August, and we were in Cooperstown - a place where there are more corn fields than dwellings - it made perfect sense for us to sleep under the stars in the field next to her house.
The morning after the party, while we waited patiently for our parents to pick us up, we were each allowed to pick a few ears of corn from the stalks and take them home. Naturally, when I approached the car with an armful of ears, my mother looked at me and remarked "Well, looks like we're going to have to make some more corn salad!" I did not protest, corn salad is one of the most delicious summer dishes of all-time.
One of my favorite things about summer salads is that they are basically foolproof. The basic formula of combining fresh vegetables, dressing and cheese always yields a delicious dish for any table. This corn salad definitely falls into this category, it is simple, tasty and easy to assemble. And, since it is currently the height of corn season in the northeast, there is no better time for me to share this recipe with you. It also feels especially appropriate since this salad has pretty much been the most popular food in my kitchen for the past two weeks.
What I like about preparing this, apart from the ease with which I can do it while my daughter naps, is how the flavor improves over time. Since I usually make this during the daytime I allow it to sit in the refrigerator until dinner which allows the flavors to meld and ripen. I also love that, like all good salads, the ingredients are flexible. If there are additional vegetables or herbs at my fingertips I simply throw them in and, voila, I have a whole new variation. I suggest that you feel free to do the same. Lately I've served this salad to guests, my family and even added it to a summer buffet. It also doubles or triples well if you need to make it for a big crowd. I hope you enjoy this summer vegetable salad as much as I do. And, for the record, I procure my corn at the farmers' market these days, not at sleepovers.
Naptime's Summer Corn Salad
8 ears of corn, cooked and kernels stripped
1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
1 medium red onion, sliced thin
1/3 c. basil, chopped
1/3 c. olive oil
4 T. red-wine vinegar
Zest of one lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt & Pepper to taste
1. Boil corn in a pot of salted water for 7 minutes, or until kernels are fully cooked. Cut kernels off the cob with a sharp knife. Place in a large bowl. Add tomatoes, onions and basil, mix to combine.
2. Whisk together dressing in a separate bowl and pour over corn, stir to combine. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature. Can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until serving.
Naptime Recipe Props: It is always helpful when salads can be made ahead of time, especially when the flavor gets better after it sits.
Naptime Stopwatch: The longest part about making this is the boiling the corn. After that it is simply a matter of assembling the ingredients and giving it a good store.
Naptime Reviews: Everyone loves this salad, especially people looking for a great gluten-free dish. Even my daughter seems to adore this, though the last time she ate it she picked out the onion.