06 August 2014

Peach, Pistachio & Sweet Corn Salad

Summertime and the living is easy!  So lunch should be as well.  Helloooooo simple salad!

Can you believe it's already August?!  I am 100% not ready for the fall, let alone the season after that strikes terror in the heart of every Minnesotan (which I officially am now...woot!).  I've been making the most of every warm and sunshiny minute playing sand volleyball, biking the Midtown Greenway and attending any festival within walking distance (most of which celebrate alcohol...looove summer).  Needless to say, complex new recipes have been rather low on my list of priorities.  Instead I've been opting for fast, fresh and delicious meals that have us satisfied and on our way out the door in no time.

Thanks to the fabulous growers at Sleepy Root and their never-ending supply of gorgeous greens, salads have dominated our summer.  Now perhaps my memory is faulty, but the peaches and nectarines this year seem like the best in the history of pitted fruits.  I absolutely CANNOT get enough of those succulent suckers.  Between fabulous rhubarb-nectarine pies, our all-time favorite barbecue sauce, and this salad, they've been the heavy hitters of our kitchen team.  And if nectarines are sitting tight as slugger, then the go-to relief pitcher is absolutely corn on the cob.

The luscious garden we had growing up always rendered a plethora of corn.  Covered with butter and a smile, I still eat them with the absolute relish of a sunburnt seven year-old.  When you add a little sriracha and cotija cheese....bam, foodie heaven.  I have always grilled up extra ears for the singular intent of using the kernels as a fabulous salad garnish, but upon trying this new combination with nectarines I always blew a taste bud.  First you have the delicious sweet fruit - juicy, meaty and slightly tart.  Next you have the tender-firm corn kernels, roasted to savory perfection and echoing the sweetness of the fruit wonderfully.  A few roasted pistachios for extra salt and crunch perfect the plate.  I enjoy a little drizzle of simple balsamic vinegar to add a some extra acidity and contrast, but you could almost get away with only the juices from those fabulous peaches or nectarines.

Ugh...looking at these pictures from a few weeks ago is tough.  I know what I'm having for dinner tomorrow!

Peach, Pistachio & Sweet Corn Salad (2 servings)
  • 2 c romaine
  • 1 c spicy greens or arugula
  • 1 large peach
  • 1/4 c roasted pistachios 
  • 2 ears corn
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil (optional)

Place a non-stick pan over medium-high heat*.  Using a sharp knife, slowly cut the kernels off of the ear of corn and gather in a small bowl.  When the pan is hot, add the corn and grill until tender and golden, about 5 minutes.  (*Alternatively, roast the ears whole over medium-high heat on the barbecue for 18--20 minutes, slicing off the kernels once the ears have cooled.)  Transfer the cooked kernels back to the bowl and set aside.

Roughly chop the greens on a cutting board and divide between two plates.  Halve the peach, then cut each half into quarters and slice into bite size pieces.  Lay the chopped peach over the greens and sprinkle with the grilled corn and pistachios. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, garnishing with fresh cracked pepper if desired.  Serve with a charcuterie plate or cheese board for a refreshing midday meal. 

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