Corn and Tomatoes
You just have to be eating corn and tomatoes right now. The overflowing cornucopia of summer veg is stunning, but these two are the summer stars and pair well together. On the cob, off the cobb, boiled, grilled, charred, slathered with butter, salt and pepper and sprinkled with chili powder and cotija…I can make myself sick on summer corn!
And of course, the juicy pop of cherry tomatoes of endless varieties is super satisfying, especially when grown in your own yard. The stunning reds, purples, yellows and greens force me to eat with my eyes first, the best kind of art.
In the following two recipes, corn takes the lead. Both recipes are extremely versatile and lend to swapping ingredients in and out, depending on what is in the crisper and on the vine.
The pasta salad sauce is a spinach and basil pesto mayo combo, but you can dress the pasta in any kind of sauce or vinaigrette you desire. Remember those three sauces from last month? Creamy honey mustard, lemon tahini? This pasta is the perfect opportunity to try these out. Topped with fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon, the corn and tomatoes will shine through.
The bean and corn salad is just as forgiving, and holds up in the fridge for several days. Black beans and corn are a perfect pairing here, but switch up beans if you desire. Add your favorite salsa, or make your own fresh to fold in. Don’t forget the sharp cheddar, fresh cilantro, and squeeze of lime.
These days, who wants to fire up the oven? Give the corn a quick char on the stove top grill pan or cast-iron skillet, and cook the pasta stove top on in your saucepan. Chop away, whisk your vinaigrette, and there you have it. Salad sans greens for days.
Corn and tomato pasta salad
10 ounces favorite short pasta (shells, rotini, macaroni, cavatelli)
3 ears of corn or one can, drained and rinsed
2 green onions
5 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 Roma tomato, deseeded and chopped
1/2 cup shredded or cubed mozzarella
1/2 cup packed fresh herbs of choice (basil, parsley, cilantro, oregano, mint)
Spinach basil pesto:
2 cups packed spinach
1/4 cup packed fresh basil or combo of fresh and dried basil to taste
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup shredded or freshly grated parmesan
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice from half of a lemon
Garlic to taste
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup mayo
Char corn cobs and green onions. Let cool. Put on water for pasta. Then while pasta is boiling, cut kernels off cob and chop onions tomatoes. Shred the cheese. Drain pasta when al dente or to your liking.
In a small food processor, add all pesto ingredients except mayo. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides. One fully incorporated, add to a bowl with mayo and combine. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Combine pasta, pesto mayo, and chopped veg, herbs and cheese. Top with more herbs, squeeze of lemon, and crack of black pepper. Serve cold or at room temp.
Black bean and corn salad
One can black beans, drained and rinsed
One can corn, drained and rinsed or kernels from 4 cobs boiled or grilled
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/4 cup chopped cucumber
1/4 cup chopped red cabbage (optional)
1 chopped jalapeno, deveined and deseeded (optional)
1/4 cup bell pepper
1/4 cup white onion, chopped
1/4 cup packed cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup feta cheese (optional)
1/4 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar
Juice of one lime
For the vinaigrette:
2 teaspoons chili powder
One teaspoon cumin
One teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons canola oil
One teaspoon maple syrup
Whisk vinaigrette ingredients in a large bowl. Add all other ingredients except lime juice. Stir until thoroughly coated with vinaigrette. Add lime juice and toss. Add salt to taste and toss. Serve chilled or at room temp. Add to tiny tortillas and top with sour cream if desired.