Oh That Corn – Episode 73
I don’t really need to say anything else.
You know, that sweet summer corn that’s one of the most wonderful things that you could ever eat.
I’m not kidding.
I wait for this corn all year long… I wait for a lot of things all year long. That’s how it is with seasonal eating. By choosing to get our food from a local, sustainable source, we choose to (for the most part) wait until summer for things like fresh corn, tomatoes, and stone fruit. I’m cool with buying things frozen or canned (I can’t wait aaaaaall year for some tomatoes – I need to be able to eat Spaghetti and Meatballs, you know?!). But, I much prefer fresh, if possible.
So yeah, this week’s episode kinda screams summer freshness. It yells that you should barbecue some sausage or chicken to go along with it. It hollers that if you need to, it’s ok to just eat the corn straight off the cob, no cooking needed. It’s gonna make a mess anyways, so at least pick up the kernels that you’ve scattered all over the counter in the midst of slicing the corn off the cob, and gobble them up. Yes, gobble.
Do you find it necessary to act like a typewriter when eating corn on the cob, complete with a ding at the end of the “row”? Just me? Ok.
I used quinoa for this salad. Rice would also be acceptable (wait, do people make cold rice salads??), so would pasta. But I like quinoa because it’s got a bit more protein and it’s just different and really fun to eat (says me).
Fresh veggies are loaded in. Corn, green beans, red onion, tomatoes, summer squash, and fresh herbs. If you have other favorites, feel free to make a swap. I’m all about using what I have. No need to go and buy something if you’ve got a perfectly acceptable replacement in the fridge!
If you’re like a good friend on mine, and you don’t prefer some veggies totally raw, welcome to the world of roasted veggies. Start with larger pieces, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then bake at 350F for 10-20 minutes, or until they’re as crispy as you’d like. Let them cool, chop or dice, and toss with the salad. You could also par cook them (which means partially cook) by boiling for a minute or two. Then don’t discard the water, there’s lots of goodness left in there! Use it to boil some pasta or make a veggie stock (take some of the veggies that are left in your produce drawers from last week, you know, the ones that look a little sad… give ’em a good scrub, chop into large pieces, and cook cook cook away).
I used some leftover chicken. It was originally roasted in the Crock Pot, taken off the bones, then frozen. You could also cook a chicken breast like I did for a recipe that I made last year. Whatever works for you. I just like to be creative with leftovers.
You could also add beans. I’ve done this before. It’s good. I just didn’t have any cooked, so I didn’t do it this time. If you wanted to go vegetarian, I’d omit the chicken and add the beans. Pinto or white beans would be yummy, even chick peas would be great.
This makes a lot of salad. It’s perfect for your Canada Day or 4th of July BBQ, for a simple dinner at home, or a picnic on the beach. Although on second thought, I’m picturing a windy day and crunching on sand along with fresh veggies and I think I don’t like my idea anymore… let’s change it to a picnic on some grass, lounging on a cute quilt, with your favorite someone. There. That’s better. Bring along some lemonade or maybe some sparkling wine, some Italian Date Subs, olives and pickles, some salt and vinegar chips (these have been my favorite since I was a kid), and some fresh fruit and then you’re all set.
Happy summer, dear friends! And as always,
- 2 C uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 4 C stock or water
- 4 ears of corn, kernels sliced off the cob
- 2 small summer squash, diced
- 1 C green beans, diced
- 1/4 to 1/2 C red onion, diced or minced
- 5 small tomatoes, diced
- 1 C chicken, cooked and chopped
- Dressing: 1 T lemon juice
- 1/2 to 1 T apple cider vinegar
- 2 T balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 T maple syrup
- 1 t dijon mustard
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- pinch cayenne
- 2 T fresh basil, chopped
- 1 T fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 t fresh oregano, chopped
- 1 t fresh chives, chopped
- 3/4 C olive oil
- In a medium pot combine quinoa and stock/water. Stir. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is cooked.
- Whisk together all dressing ingredients except olive oil. Whisk and slowly stream in olive oil. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
- Combine half the dressing with the quinoa. Refrigerate while you prepare the veggies.
- Combine quinoa with remaining dressing, chicken, and veggies. Stir well. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Cool completely.
- Serve as larger portions for a main dish, or smaller portions along with something grilled and delicious as a side.
Here are some of the ways that I’m planning to use the contents of this week’s Abundant Harvest Organics box (along with a few other ideas that I think would be fun).