Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Corn, Tomato, and Avocado Salad

I wanted to make this recipe for weeks but just couldn't get my act together. I would buy avocados, intend to make this salad, and then space out or order take-out, and then have to throw the avocados away. I finally gave myself the kick in the pants necessary to get the job done, and I'm so glad I did--this salad is amazing! Even Mr. Kim Chee, who's not the biggest corn fan, liked it.

This is my favorite time of year, food-wise. I love sweet corn.

It smells so nice!

So, husk the corn (or make your friends, children, significant others, or even a random stranger do it.) Gently place it in a pot of boiling water. This will cook the corn and tenderize it.

Boil the corn for 3-5 minutes (depending on the size of the ears and how "done" you like your corn.) Dunk the hot ears in a cold water bath (or run them under cold water until they're cool to the touch) to set the pretty yellow color.

Grab yourself a clean kitchen towel and a sharp knife. Set the corn vertically on the towel. Hold the corn with one hand and cut the kernels off the cob with the knife. The towel should keep the kernels from bouncing all around your kitchen.

Some people use the bundt pan method, where you set the corn on the raised center of a bundt pan. The corn should fall right into the cake part of the pan. This method works if you have a sturdy bundt pan, with a hole in the center. I don't have a bundt pan with a hole in the center. And my sturdiest bundt pan is made of stoneware, which makes cleaning corn starch off the sides difficult. It's a lot easier (at least, for me) to toss a corn-y towel in the wash and not worry about it.
You should end up with a nice pile of cut corn. 3 ears should get you about 2 1/2 cups of cut corn.

Now that your corn is taken care of, you can start on the salad dressing. In a small bowl, combine the zest and juice from half a lime.

Add a splash or two of a light vinegar. I used champagne, but cider or red wine vinegar would work here too.

A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil will give you a simple vinaigrette.

Throw your corn into a large bowl.
Chop up some cilantro and add it to the bowl of corn.

If you don't like cilantro (I know it's not for everyone), parsley, chives, or basil would work well here too.

The original recipe had diced onion, but a friend gave me some lovely green onions from her garden this weekend, so I decided to use both.

I just used less red onion. If you don't have green onion, just use half an onion here, instead of a third.

Tomatoes are still in season here, and I got some nice cherry tomatoes.

I liked this one--I thought it looked like an apple. Mr. Kim Chee thought it looked like a pepper.

I halved the small tomatoes and quartered the large ones.

Give the salad a quick toss, and then pour in the vinaigrette.

Whoops. Almost forgot salt and pepper.

This part of the salad will keep until you're ready for it. Right before serving, I add the avocado.

Use a knife to carefully cut the avocado. First I cut the long way.

Then I cut the other way, to make cube-shaped pieces. Scoop the avocado out of the skin with a spoon. You should have nice avocado cubes.

Toss the avocado really, really well with the salad (you want to make sure the vinaigrette has coated all the pieces, to prevent the avocado from browning.) Then grab a fork or a huge spoon and dig in!

Recipe: Corn, Tomato, and Avocado Salad

2 1/2 c. (about 3 ears) of cooked corn
juice and zest from half a lime
1 tbsp. champagne (or any light) vinegar
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. cilantro, finely chopped
3 scallions sliced thin, white and light green parts
1/3-1/4 red onion, minced
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
salt and pepper, to taste
1 avocado, diced

Cut kernels off corn; place in a large bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine lime zest and juice with vinegar and olive oil. Mix well.

Add cilantro, scallions, red onion, and tomatoes to the bowl of corn. Pour vinaigrette over the top and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste.

Right before serving, add avocado and stir well. Enjoy!

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