Sunday, July 8, 2012

Time to Relax (Raw Corn, Tomato and Zucchini Salad with Lime Vinaigrette)

Even Maggie the Lab knows
how to relax on the lake
 There are a few places on the planet where I am able to relax within minutes of arrival.  Hyco Lake is one of them.  So needless to say I was very happy to receive an invitation to spend the Fourth of July there with our good friends Rusty & Debi.

Casual is the order of the day at The Lake.  As it should be.  Nothing is really planned out – we have a general idea of what we’ll do and who will be there, but beyond that things happen as they may and everyone is happy.

Crunchy, tangy and refreshing.
This summer salad is a crowd pleaser.
Case in point – I prepared a raw summer salad before we left Tuesday night, thinking we’d have it for dinner that night.  But as evening closed in a boat ride, a few hors ‘d oeuvres, and some early fireworks was a much better idea.  

The salad finally made its debut Wednesday afternoon served alongside a grilled pork tenderloin. What little was leftover made a nice dipper for tortilla chips as we eased into evening.

Use a sharp knife to slice
the corn kernels off the cob.
That’s what makes a salad like this a great thing to make ahead when you’re not really sure about a weekend schedule.  You can prep it well ahead of time, and dress it when (expected or unexpected) guests arrive.  And once you add the dressing, it gets better with time.   Heck, I think you could even toss it in a skillet and cook it up for a hot side dish with great success.

I hope you give this a try this summer.  And feel free to make adjustments along the way.  I think it would be great with cucumbers rather than zucchini and cilantro or even dill rather than basil.  The main thing–relax and have fun this summer!

Raw Corn, Tomato and Zucchini Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

Salad Ingredients
(Serves 10 - 12)
  • 4 years of fresh corn, kernels cut off (see photo)
  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes, some cut in half and some cut into quarters
  • 2 zucchini, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2/3 cup green onions, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped fine
  • 2 pinches of Kosher Salt
  • Lots of fresh cracked black pepper
  • Lime vinaigrette (see recipe below)

Salad Method
  • If making ahead, put all of the ingredients in a large zip lock bag and refrigerate.
  • When ready to serve, toss with lime vinaigrette

Lime Vinaigrette
Mix in a glass jar:
  • 3 large limes, juiced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 big squeezes of honey from a Honey Bear (probably 3 tablespoons)
  • Pinch Kosher Salt
  • 6 grinds of black pepper

Taste and adjust seasoning – you may or may not want to add more honey, salt or pepper
Refrigerate until ready to toss with salad.