Summer Corn and Asparagus Salad

Summer Corn and Asparagus Salad

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Summers for the Southern kitchen means one thing: vegetables, and lots of them! Your garden always seems to produce more corn than you know what to do with. I love corn! But as the summer wears on you struggle to come up with ideas of what to do with it all. A few years ago I came up with a Corn and Asparagus Salad that was a hit. I have two variations on the same base, Southwestern and Italian.  The variation of spices and heat give it enough separation to make it feel fresh.


Corn and Asparagus Base

3-4 ears of Corn

1 Bunch of Asparagus

1 Red Pepper

5 Scallions

You need to cook the corn and the asparagus. You have as many options as you can think up. I like mine roasted on the grill for a few minutes, but you can also boil, blanch, or roast them in the oven. You will want to cook the asparagus until it is still a little crisp. Once you add the dressing, the vinegar will continue to break down the veggies, so I caution you to not over cook them. Once cooked, you will remove the corn from the cob and slice the asparagus in ½ to 1 inch pieces. You will also need to dice the red pepper and scallions into small pieces. I prefer a small dice, but too small a dice can make it feel more like a salsa.

Southwestern Style

To the above recipe you will need to add:

1 Poblano Pepper (seeded and chopped)

1/3 Cup Chopped Cilantro

Dressing:

1/3 Cup Olive Oil

1/3 Cup Rice Vinegar (rice vinegar has a sweetness about it that I like in dressings, but you can use any quality vinegar)

Juice from 1 Lime (about 3-4 Teaspoons)

1 Clove of Garlic

Salt to taste

Fresh Black Pepper to taste

Place the above ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk together.

Italian Style

You will need fresh Basil. You may also want to roast your red pepper. If you like roasted red pepper, it definitely gives the salad a more Italian flair. If however you don’t have the time, energy, etc. using the fresh red pepper will give you a satisfactory result.

1/3 Cup Basil

2/3 Cup diced fresh tomato (seeds removed)

Dressing:

1/3 Cup Olive Oil

1/3 Cup Rice Vinegar (rice vinegar has a sweetness about it that I like in dressings, but you can use any quality vinegar)

Juice from 1 Lemon (about 3-4 Teaspoons)

2 Cloves of Garlic

Salt to taste

Fresh Black Pepper to taste.

Place the above ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk together.

Place all of your cut vegetables in a bowl and add your dressing. Mix gently. Set aside, until ready to serve. This dish is excellent the next day, so it is perfect for picnics and those family reunions everyone is headed to this time of year.

Enjoy!


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