Sides

Green Bean Corn and Tomato Salad

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Green Bean, Corn and Tomato Salad

1 cube Dorot frozen garlic (I get it at Trader Joes) or 1 clove garlic, pounded to paste
1/2 t salt
2 T white wine vinegar
1/3 c olive oil

3 c corn (cut off 4-5 ears, blanched or 2 15oz cans, drained)
1.5 lb green beans, halved and then blanched
2 pt cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 small red onion, sliced very thinly
1/2 c fresh basil, coarsely chopped

In a small bowl (or jar. I use a jelly jar for vinaigrette because I can put the lid on and then shake it) put garlic, salt and vinegar. Let it sit for fifteen minutes. Then add olive oil and whisk together (or, you know, shake it.)

Put sliced red onion in a bowl of ice water and let it soak for at least five minutes. This removes much of the raw onion's sharpness and keeps it crisp.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. If you are using fresh corn, add kernels to water and blanch for one minute. Scoop out and place in a large bowl. Add 2 T salt to the water and return to boil. Add green beans and blanch for three minutes. Remove from water and spread out the beans to cool.

Stir corn and green beans together. Then add red onion, tomatoes and basil. Drizzle with vinaigrette and toss to coat everything thoroughly with dressing. Finish with black pepper.

Serves 8

Notes: Fine Cooking (again with the Fine Cooking - I'm a fan) ran a spread on summer salads a few years ago (issue 72, June/July 2005) that included something similar. I liked the vegetable combination but I thought the original recipe was too heavy on the vinegar basil and onion, which conspired to overwhelm the more delicate corn and green bean flavors. So I altered the ratios.

Green beans are perfect right now. I intended to make this with fresh corn but I must have arrived at the grocery between stock times and the corn had been picked over to the point that there was nothing worth buying. So... ho ho ho Green Giant. Properly done, however, this is made fresh out of the garden with just a hint of dressing. I serve it a lot when we have company in the summer (you can double, triple, quadruple it... no problem) and it is delicious. The only caveat is not to make it too far in advance because it gets limp after an hour. It most definitely does not keep overnight.


Salad Caprese

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Tomatoes, mozzarella, basil... hard to go wrong.

Unless, of course, you go shopping with a crabby children who harass you with their sighs and force you to randomly grab at cheeses such that you return home and discover that you have purchased half a pound of smoked mozzarella. It actually wasn't terrible but it added a fake flavor to something that should have tasted like pure sunshine and summer. So pay attention! Read the package.

I read a tip in Cook's Country magazine that suggested you drain the tomatoes and then add the saved tomato water back into the salad after reducing it with some vinegar. I liked the idea but decided it could use some more oomph. I had a little can of tomato juice to spare so...

1 pt grape tomatoes, quartered (unless you do not have a chokables phobia; halved is probably fine)
1/2 t salt
   

Toss tomatoes with salt (unless I specify table salt I always mean Kosher, by the by) and let sit for thirty minutes. 

Drain tomatoes through fine-meshed sieve over medium bowl. Stir them gently to try to release as much liquid as possible. Pour tomato liquid into measuring cup and then put drained tomatoes into bowl. Add

tomato juice

to bring tomato liquid to half a cup. I experimented and using half a cup of straight tomato juice works really well too. Combine the tomato juice/tomato water in a saucepan with:

1 garlic clove, minced
1 T red wine vinegar (or balsamic)

and boil until reduced by a third. Take off heat and allow to cool. Then whisk in:

2 T olive oil

Set aside. To tomatoes in bowl add:

8 oz mozarella, diced
1/4 c fresh basil, slivered

Toss with the dressing and top with fresh ground black pepper. Taste for salt but I doubt you'll need it.

Note: This served me and Steve and Caroline. You might want to use two pints of tomatoes if you are feeding more/bigger people. The dressing should suffice without doubling, though, I think.