This is a perfect summer salad: not too much effort, and it takes advantage of late summer’s bounty. Because it is so simple, it truly relies on the best tasting produce to elevate it. Most importantly is the corn – find the sweetest, freshest corn you can. Ripe, local tomatoes are a must too.
If you are a proficient chopper, this salad can be on the table in less than 20 minutes. We ate it with fresh bread and good cheese to keep it simple, but it would be great as a side to grilled chicken or burgers.
Simple Summer Salad
3 T butter
1 clove garlic, minced
super-sweet corn, cut from two ears
1 lb green beans, trimmed and cut in half or thirds
2 large heirloom slicing tomatoes, diced
1 medium cucumber, diced
1/4 cup minced, mixed fresh herbs–I used chives, basil, and parsley
drizzle of olive oil to finish
salt to taste
1) Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, and cook about a minute until fragrant. Add corn kernels, and cook two to three minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
2) Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add green beans, and cook until bright green and crisp-tender, about five minutes. Remove beans and plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop cooking.
3) In serving bowl, add tomatoes and cucumber. Scrape all of the corn, garlic, and butter into the bowl. Drain the green beans and add them too. Toss in the herbs, drizzle with olive oil and toss gently. Add salt to taste — with really sweet corn, enough salt is critical to balance the flavor.
Note: I’ve made this several times, and once without the herbs. It still was very tasty, so if you don’t have a pile of fresh herbs laying around, don’t be discouraged.