Thursday, August 9, 2012

Two salad recipes to put tomatoes,
corn and cucumbers to delicious work

With backyard gardens and farmers markets about to burst forth with summer vegetables, it’s a good time to have some salad recipes at the ready to use them up nicely.
   I recently tried a couple of recipes that will give tomatoes, corn, and cucumbers the delicious honor they deserve.

The first is Tomato and Corn Salad with Marjoram (click for the recipe), a fresh and reliable salad that goes wonderfully with all types of grilled meat.
   Marjoram is a type of herb not commonly found in supermarkets, but luckily we grew it in our herb garden this year and were able to use it. I can offer a substitution, however: Fresh oregano. I’m sure that herb, easier to find in supermarkets, will do just as well in the salad.
   Four ears of fresh corn, husked, are cooked in a large pot of boiling salted water, about five minutes. This cooking time at a high boil leaves the kernels perfectly tender.
   After the corn is cooled, the kernels are cut from the cobs. A good way to do this is to stand a cooked cob, smaller end down, into the tube of an angel food cake pan, then strip the kernels away with a knife.
   Olive oil and red wine vinegar are whisked together, and the corn, chopped tomatoes, feta cheese and marjoram are added. The mixture is tossed until the oil coats the tomatoes and corn.
   I skipped serving the salad on lettuce leaves.

The second recipe is Cucumber, Basil and Peanut Salad (click for the recipe).
   This refreshing salad is a wonderful combination of cool, with the cucumber and herbs, and salty tastes thanks to fish sauce, rice vinegar and salted peanuts.
   The recipe says to preferably use Thai basil, but said Italian basil or mint could be used instead. I didn’t have Thai basil, so I decided on a substitute combination of Italian basil and mint, about 1/8 cup of each. It worked wonderfully.
   This salad is amazingly easy to make.
   Rice vinegar, sesame oil, lime juice and fish sauce are whisked together. Cucumbers that have been cut into crescent-shaped pieces, basil and/or mint, and coarsely-chopped salted peanuts are added to the dressing and are tossed to coat.

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