"I love that salad," my daugher said in a dreamy voice, as if anticipating eating it.
The first summer corn and cherry tomatoes appeared the same week at my local farmers market and I immediately planned on serving the two ingredients up for dinner that evening.
What I love about this salad, a recipe from “The Zuni Café Cookbook” by chef Judy Rogers, is that it is more about shopping for high quality, raw ingredients than cooking. The resulting dish is so fresh and satisfying that you feel as if you must have spent all day cooking. It is visually striking and almost too pretty to eat...almost.
Corn is in season from the end of May to the end of September. Each farmer has a different varietal that is available at different times throughout the summer. For those who live in Santa Barbara County, CA, I particulary love the corn grown at Lane Farms in Goleta and Roots Organic Farm, in Solvang.
You can serve this salad with fresh ripe cherry tomatoes but I also love them roasted. On a hot summer eve, it might not be ideal to turn the oven on, but the plus side is that roasted tomatoes have a higher nutritional value.
This salad is lovely as a first course, makes a great main course when paired with salmon, chicken, or grilled meats, and is a delightful addition to a buffet, offering bright color and crisp texture.
A few other ways we like to serve corn:
~Corn and Leek Cakes with Smoked Salmon and Heirloom Tomato Jam
~Flatbread Pizza with Corn, Zucchini, Lime, and Cilantro
~Grilled Chicken with Arugula and Sweet Corn Salsa
~Wild King Salmon with Sweet Corn Salsa and Warm Basil Cream
~Sweet Corn Soup
Now, here's the recipe for the corn and tomato salad.
Raw Sweet Corn Salad with Arugula and Sweet Cherry Tomatoes
1 cup of small ripe bright red cherry tomatoes, 4-5 oz. (Large cherry tomatoes will be too watery)
3 each fresh young white corn with tender kernels. Look for heirloom varieties at your local farmers market. (Mature corn will be dryer and may have a bland taste when raw.)
1 small shallot diced
5 Tablespoons Very Good Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Champagne Vinegar
About 4 oz. of very fresh bight green arugula, washed and dried.
Salt and Pepper
2 oz. Ricotta Salata
1. Add the diced shallot to the vinegar and let it soften while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
2. Wash and cut the tomatoes in half.
3. Shuck and wash the corn removing all silks. Cut the kernels from the cob trying not to cut into the cob itself. Break apart all the kernels with your fingers.
4. Combine shallots and vinegar with the oil and salt and pepper.
5. In a wide shallow bowl or platter toss the arugula with a small amount of vinaigrette just to coat. Taste for salt. Scatter the tomatoes and corn over the arugula and drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette slowly to taste. You may not use all the vinaigrette.
6. Shave the salata ricotta over the salad. (Optional)