Eat Like a Local: Cali Salad
Summertime, am I right? The season when all fruits and vegetables taste amazing. When you want to bottle up all the goodness that comes with warmer weather, endless outdoor activities, extra hours of sunlight, and eating fresh food at every single meal.
A few years ago, a friend of mine whipped together an amazing side dish, which she called Jersey Salad. When I asked her why it was called Jersey Salad, she said that all of the vegetables in it had been grown in New Jersey. Fantastic! When I asked her for a recipe, she shrugged her shoulders (she’s not really one for recipes!)
I took this idea back to Maine with me and went to the farmer’s market. I bought some local produce, went home and threw a bunch of things together and called it Maine Salad. My boyfriend told me it was the best thing he’s ever had (he was probably exaggerating, but I’ll take the compliment!)
Now that I live in California, I’m calling this Cali Salad. It’s still just as easy and still just as delicious! It’s all about the ingredients and local, fresh ingredients make this salad really amazing. When it comes to corn, look for organic when possible, as corn is one of the most heavily genetically modified crops out there. And no one needs those extra chemicals floating around their bodies. Talk to the farmers at the market about their corn-- they will be able to tell you if it is organic!
I have tried to make this with frozen organic (thawed) corn, but it’s just not the same. It doesn’t have that same summery flavor. And there is no store-bought tomato that will ever taste as amazing as one picked straight from the vine!
Now, you can modify this if you want… sometimes I throw in some diced cucumbers for some extra crunch. I have also added some freshly picked bell peppers. But don’t get too crazy, because the simplicity of this salad is what makes it so incredibly flavorful and keeps us coming back for more each time summer rolls around.
So head to your local farmer’s market--stat!-- and grab these simple ingredients. Need help eating local? Check out my previous post for 5 Tips to Eat Local in Your Town!
Whip this dish up for dinner and watch as your family and friends gobble it up!
Serves 4 as a side
3 ears organic corn, cooked
15-20 cherry tomatoes, quartered
¼ c packed fresh basil, chopped
1 TBSP olive oil
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Cook corn cobs, cool completely, and cut kernels off the cob (if they are in big chunks, even better!) Toss kernels along with all other ingredients in a bowl and mix together. If time permits, allow salad to sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving to allow the flavors to mingle. Serve as a side to your favorite veggie burger or enjoy as a light lunch!