Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Asparagus and Corn Salad

My infrequency of salad recipes sure doesn’t reflect how often I actually eat them, and how much I love them.  What a shame.
Salad is my absolute favorite food, maaaaaybe even more than peanut butter and ice cream. I don’t have 1 type of salad in particular I always gravitate towards, I just love them all.  For instance, Jon, he’ll always order a caesar salad, or occasionally some version of a cobb, as long as it doesn’t have blue cheese within 967 yards of it, or maybe a caprese.  Frankly, I can’t think of a salad I don’t like.  Even if it has meat in it, I might still dig right in.  Random, but did you not know that about 99% of the time I can’t stand meat?  Chicken, beef, ALWAYS shellfish, yaaaaa, It’s just not my thing.  I just don’t like the flavor, texture, or knowing I’m eating dead animals (I cringe at the sight or even thought of blood).  Even as a kid I didn’t like it… I think my tastebuds are just geared towards vegetables (and ice cream).
My salad habit can be expensive sometimes because I don’t just want a head of lettuce and some olive oil, I like to spruce it up.  Produce can really start to add up if you’re not strategic in how you buy it, like when and where.  Buying seasonal produce will save you money, for sure!  Just because I loooooove asparagus, nectarines and cherries doesn’t mean I eat them often.  I really only eat them when they’re at the peak of season, which usually means the cheapest prices.  Lately I’ve been making an effort to buy more local produce… Ok, bear with me here… I hear people talk about buying local, but I’m sceptical of it because how do you REALLY know it’s local?  How do you know the lady at the farmers market selling her “100% grass fed, organic, free range, LOCAL” eggs didn’t just stock up on cheap eggs at Costco and stuff them into packages with her farm name on them?  You don’t, for sure.  Well, I suppose if I get to know each farmer personally, then I’ll know for sure… One more reason I want to live on a farm, so I can raise everything myself.  And wear overalls, flannels and drive a tractor.  But that’s another story…
About a month ago a friend told me about a produce stand at our local swapmeet and how cheap they are.  The next day I went to see for myself.   $34 later I came home with an entire trunk full of seasonal produce.  Artichokes, asparagus, cherries, bell peppers, avocado, sooooo much good stuff!  I literally got a bag with 8 HUGE red, yellow and orange bell peppers for $2, that’s craziness!  And they are incredibly sweet and juicy, double whammy score!  I don’t know what, if any, of the produce is local… I’ll ask next time I go… Anyway, this salad is a cumulation of my swap meet produce haul.  This is a great salad to accompany any dish you BBQ this summer, or to eat on it’s own as a light summer meal.  It’s great to serve at a sit down dinner, or awesome for a beach day.  The entire salad, that serves 6, easy, was maybe $4 TOTAL!  Awesome!

Asparagus and Corn Salad
Yield: 4 servings
  • 3 ears corn, shucked
  • 2 bunches asparagus, ends trimmed and cut in 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs (cilantro, basil, parsley, whatever you like)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey (can replace with sugar or agave)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add in a hefty pinch of salt once water starts to boil.
Add the shucked corn to the boiling water and boil for about 5 minutes, until it starts to turn bright yellow. Remove the corn from the pot and set it aside to cool.
In the same water used for boiling the corn, add the cut asparagus for 2 minutes, just until they’re cooked, but not overcooked. Remove from the pot and set aside to cool.
Once the corn is cool enough to touch, cut of the kernels with a sharp knife and add the kernels and asparagus pieces to a large bowl.
In another bowl, whisk the herbs, olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the corn and asparagus. Mix together and chill until ready to serve. Can be made up to 2 days ahead of time.
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