Two ‘summer headliners’ combine for tasty salad
Bound together with lime juice and olive oil, streaked with quick-pickled red onions, the peppery bite of poblano and earthy parsley, each bite of this corn and tomato salad is juicy, cool and balanced.
Summer heat calls for little exertion. It invites lazy days lounging under a canopy of shade with icy drinks clinking in perspiring glasses. Simple food, fresh and easy, requiring little preparation, is the way to roll.
Luckily this bountiful season produces an abundance of fresh vegetables and fruit at their peak, stand-alone delicious and requiring little manipulation to enjoy. The tables and stalls are stacked and lined at farmers markets with a cornucopia of fresh delights. If you have a garden, it can be tempting to stand in the middle of it, munch on its goodies and call it lunch.
Fresh corn and tomatoes are two summer headliners. Ears of corn, shucked at the bin, steamed, grilled or boiled, then slathered in butter — a classic treat. Tomatoes dominate in all their colors and shapes — heirlooms, Early Girls, cherries and Romas. They’re the bright stars of fresh salads, salsas, cool soups and sandwiches. It’s easy to indulge and a refreshingly un-guilty pleasure on a steamy, sultry day.
Sweet tomatoes and corn unite in this refreshing salad, which is delightfully simple and utterly delicious. They are mutually sweet, yet differentiated by the juicy acidity of the tomato and the milky-sweet crunch of fresh corn kernels. Bound together with lime juice and olive oil, streaked with quick-pickled red onions, the peppery bite of poblano and earthy parsley, each bite is juicy, cool and balanced.
Summer Corn and Tomato Salad
Yield: Serves 4
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
- 2 ears corn, husked
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 poblano pepper, stemmed, seeded, diced
- 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley leaves
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
1. Place the onions in a small bowl with 2 tablespoons lime juice. Stir to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. (This step softens the sharpness of the onion.)
2. Shuck the corn and remove any silky strings. Cut the kernels from the cobs and place in a bowl. Drain the onions. Add the onions, tomatoes, pepper and parsley to the bowl.
3. Whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice, olive oil, cumin, salt, and a generous grind of black pepper in a small bowl. Drizzle over the salad, stir to combine, and taste for seasoning.
Lynda Balslev is an award-winning food and wine writer, cookbook author and recipe developer. She also authors the blog TasteFood, a compilation of more than 600 original recipes, photos and stories. More recipes can be found at chicago.suntimes.com/taste.