Summer Skillet Corn & Tomato Salad

Intro Collage

“No matter what the variety, it is still safe to say that the fresher the corn the better.  If you don’t have a corn patch of your own, buy locally grown corn straight from the farmer ~ at a produce stand on the side of the road or at a farmer’s market.  At the market, look closely at the ears.  The ones picked most recently will have fresh looking cuts at their stems and will still look ~ and feel ~ moist, plump, green, and vibrant.  The brown silk peeping out at the top will look a little sticky.  Kernels should look shiny and healthy.  Do not panic if you see the occasional worm.  Obviously you do not want worm infested corn, but it can be reassuring to know that the farmer has not gone overboard with the pesticides.”  ~ Alice Waters, Chez Panisse Vegetables

This warm skillet salad has become a staple in our summer dinner rotation.  It is extremely easy to prepare and comes together quickly.  As with most dishes which feature just a few ingredients, the quality of the components greatly effects the final outcome.  This salad is at its very best from mid to late summer when corn and tomatoes are at their peak.  Corn, tomatoes, a few scallions, a couple of slices of organic bacon, a drizzle of good quality balsamic vinegar and a hot skillet are all that is required to pull this salad off.  It is a wonderful accompaniment to grilled meats and fish and, when substituting butter or olive oil for the bacon, makes a wonderful meatless main when tossed with some orecchiette pasta.  Any leftovers can be gently reheated in a skillet along with an egg or two for a tasty breakfast the next morning.

Right now in our area, sweet white and bi~color corn is exceptional with big juicy kernels that release their milky goodness when cut from the cob…

Corn 2 Collage

As for the tomatoes, I am still waiting for the big heirlooms to dazzle me at the weekly farmer’s market, instead sweet cherry varieties such as Sweet 100, Sungold and Indigo Rose along with the medium~sized, red Early Girl are catching my attention…

Tomato Collage

“Regardless of variety, size, or color, the best tomatoes are fully ripe, but not necessarily vine ripened.  Experts say the very best way to ripen them is to pick them off the vine just as their color is starting to change from orange to red, and to keep them inside for four or five days, ideally at 59º to 70ºF.  This will maximize their sugar and acid content, which actually decreases if the fruit is left on the vine to finish ripening.  Nor should they be left to ripen on a sunny windowsill.  Normal indoor light is best.”  ~ Alice Waters, Chez Panisse Vegetables

A bit of slicing and dicing…

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Followed by a quick turn in a hot skillet produces a vibrantly colored, delicious summer salad…

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Summer Skillet Corn & Tomato Salad
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Ingredients
  1. 2 slices of thick~cut, organic bacon, diced
  2. 6-7 ears of fresh corn, shucked and kernels cut from the cob
  3. 1 pint sweet cherry~style tomatoes, stems removed and halved
  4. 2-3 scallions, trimmed and white/pale green parts separated from the dark green stems and all thinly sliced
  5. Good quality balsamic vinegar for drizzling
  6. Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat a large, heavy~bottomed skillet over medium~high heat and add the diced bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon has rendered its fat and begins to brown.
  2. Add the corn, tomatoes and the sliced white and pale green parts of the scallions {reserving the dark green scallion stems for later} to the skillet and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften a bit and the tomatoes release their juice.
  3. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the sliced scallion stems and a generous {to taste} drizzle of the balsamic vinegar, tossing well to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve warm.
Notes
  1. To make a meatless version of this dish, simply substitute 1-2 tablespoons of unsalted butter or olive oil in place of the bacon.
THE DINNER CONCIERGE http://thedinnerconcierge.com/
For dinner this past Sunday, we topped the salad with a few slices of grilled steak…absolutely fantastic!

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K Medium

 

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2 thoughts on “Summer Skillet Corn & Tomato Salad

  1. Awesome. So glad you are back!! I shared this with a bunch of co-workers and I can’t wait to try this on the weekend. Love, Mom

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