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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Grilled corn salad

Grilled Corn and Tomato Salad


I LOVE summer. I love the sweet fresh corn and tomatoes that show up in the market in June, and keep on until October. As I'm tending to my little herb garden on the patio, praying for the deer to steer clear, for the caterpillars to only eat some of the parsley and cilantro, I'm thinking about how to best use this beautiful summer produce. Today I decided to grill some sweet corn, char some red sweet peppers, Pasilla peppers, lemon and limes. I tossed it all together with a fresh tasting cilantro lime dressing for a bright, fresh, filling summer salad.
Here's what we need to throw this together: (Feel free to sub anything with ingredients you like).
6 ears sweet corn, shucked and silk off, grilled 
2 handful's fresh or frozen, (thawed) corn.
2 sweet red peppers, charred
1 sweet red pepper, raw, seeded and diced.
2 Pasilla peppers, charred
1 pound cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 Jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced fine
1 small Jicama, peeled and diced
1 avocado, diced
1-2 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Cumin
Salt
Pepper


Let's grill the corn. Shuck and remove all silk. Brush with vegetable oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and some Cumin. Oil the hot grill with a vegetable oil soaked paper towel. Lay the corn right on the grates. Turn corn 1/4 turn every few minutes until there are grill marks all over. Don't overcook it, or the corn will turn to mush. Not bueno.

At the same time, let's burn the crap out of the peppers. Put the red and pasilla peppers directly on the grill or on a grill pan. Turn 1/4 turn when the down side is black and charred, like so.
Turn 1/4 turn when the down side is black and charred, like so.
When the entire pepper(s) is almost totally black, remove from the grill onto a cutting board, into a bowl, whatever... Just cover it up so these babies can steam. It will help get the peel off.
I put mine on a cutting board and covered it up with a big bowl.
Now, take a damp paper towel and gently massage off the peels. Remove the stem and seeds, and dice. Throw the diced peppers into your salad bowl.
Add the drained and rinsed black beans.
Add the peeled and diced Jicama and halved cherry tomatoes.
Add the diced avocado.
If you like raw red onion, about 1/4 cup thinly sliced or diced sweet red onion can be added.
A few green onions, sliced on the bias, are good in this, as well.
Add some chopped cilantro, to your liking.

Cut the corn off the cob. Tip: Place one end of the corn in the center of a Bundt pan, and slice the corn right off into the pan. (This photo is not mine. It is from another blog: www.ourbestbites.blogspot.com)
Put the corn in the bowl with the other fresh veg.
Add the minced Jalapeno pepper. If you don't like much heat, use 1/2, or a quarter. Taste the salad! Season it as you like it.
Season with salt, pepper, and cumin, to your taste.
O.K. Let's make this super simple citrus vinaigrette. Take 1 lemon and either 2 small limes or 1 large one. Zest lemon and lime(s) into the dressing bowl. Cut in half and place on the hot grill until brown and bubbly. Man, do these look good!
Squeeze lemon and lime juice into the dressing bowl.
Add about 1 Tbls Agave Nectar,  or honey, (or heck, even white sugar, if it's all you have), into the bowl.
Add about 1/4 - 1/3 cup Extra virgin Olive Oil to the ingredients in the bowl. Whisk until incorporated.


Season up with salt, pepper, and cilantro. Taste! Re-season to your liking. Want more heat? Add some jalapeno's or crushed red pepper, or cayenne pepper. More sweet? Add more Agave nectar. More tart? Add more lime juice. (Stay away from the stuff in the plastic container, if you can) Fresh is always better).
Pour some of the the dressing over the salad. Toss. Taste. Adjust.
Garnish with cilantro. Serve cold or at room temp.
Add some brown rice or Quinoa for a complete meal.
Bon Appetit!

Ingredients:

6 ears sweet corn, shucked and silk off, grilled 
2 handful's fresh or frozen, (thawed) corn.
2 sweet red peppers, charred, seeded, and diced
1 sweet red pepper, raw, seeded and diced
2 Pasilla peppers, charred, seeded and diced
1 pound cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 Jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced fine
1 small Jicama, peeled and diced
1 avocado, diced
1-2 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Cumin
Salt
Pepper

Dressing:
1 lemon and either 2 small limes or 1 large one, cut in half and grilled until brown, and jiuced
Zest of lemon and lime(s)

1 Tbls Agave Nectar
1/4 - 1/3 cup Extra virgin Olive Oil

Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper 
2 Tbls chopped cilantro.


Method:
  1. Corn: Shuck and remove all silk. Brush with vegetable oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and some Cumin. Oil the hot grill with a vegetable oil soaked paper towel. Lay the corn right on the grates. Turn corn 1/4 turn every few minutes until there are grill marks all over.
  2. Remove corn from the cob when cool enough to handle. 
  3. Place in a salad bowl.
  4. Put the red and pasilla peppers directly on the grill or on a grill pan. Turn 1/4 turn when the down side is black and charred.
  5. When the entire pepper(s) is almost totally black, remove from the grill onto a cutting board, into a bowl, cover and steam for 10 minutes.
  6. Using a damp paper towel, gently massage off the peels. Remove the stem and seeds, and dice.
  7. Place all  ingredients into a bowl. Mix well, but gently please!
  8. Mix all vinaigrette in a bowl and whisk.
  9. Add dressing to your liking.

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About Me

Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
I'm a home cook that can put some good tasting food on the table, most of the time. My family knows dinner is ready when the fire alarm goes off.