BC and I, being the dedicated baseball fans that we are, decided to go see our teams play against each other this weekend. It was awesome save for the fact that my team lost both days and the temp was hovering around 90. In case you didn’t know, summer is here and she’s been giving me a hankering for a salad.
I have a complicated relationship with salad. Years of confusing diet industry marketing left me feeling like a slave to vegetables, resentfully choking them down; Then I went to the other extreme and protested against eating salad or anything that grew from the ground. Now I’m back in the middle and ready to live peacefully with my vegetable friends. Feeling some lackluster feelings towards your greens? Go take a walk in the woods. BC and I were in the woods earlier and getting to see so many types of wildlife brought me back down to earth; humbled and a bit in awe. It definitely struck me that “wow, the fresh food we eat comes from the ground and WE GET TO EAT IT.” There’s probably more to the epiphany than that, but basically it left me feeling pretty grateful for natural food- another good reason to mix up a summer salad that honors two stars of summer…
Corn and tomatoes! Fresh sweet corn and ripe, juicy tomatoes are truly the gems of summer to me. Under normal circumstances I’m not a tomato girl; I like them mixed in things or cut up very small. But fresh heirlooms? Fresh heirlooms? No, no, no, everyone has the taste for those. The other star of the duo, grilled corn, has been dear to me since I was a kid picking it out of our field. It isn’t summer if there aren’t kernels of corn stuck in your teeth. The supporting actors in this salad are bacon (yeah), arugula (peppery, crunchy, perfect), jalapeno (just a little), and a tomato basil vinaigrette that you’ll pour on everything right through September. The thing I like best about this salad is the mix of temperatures; the arugula, tomatoes, and dressing make it feel like summer, the warmth and weight of the bacon and corn make it feel like dinner. And I’m no fool so I topped it with some freshly grated parmesan and a side of roasted red potatoes.
I hope you hurry off to make this and that your hands, like mine, end up smelling of fresh basil. See you next Wednesday
Summer Arugula Salad with Grilled Corn and Heirloom Tomatoes; with Tomato Basil Vinaigrette
Yields: Salad for 2-4; Prep: 10 minutes; Total: 30 minutes
Tomato Basil Vinaigrette:
2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
1 Clove Garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1/3 of a Jalapeno Pepper, seeds removed and roughly chopped (save remaining 2/3 for salad)
1 Roma Tomato, seeds and pulp removed and roughly chopped
1/4 cup Fresh Basil, roughly chopped
1/3 Cup Olive Oil
Salt and pepper; to taste
For the Salad:
5 Slices of Bacon, Cooked and Chopped
4 Ears Grilled Corn; Kernels removed from cob
2/3 Jalapeno, seeds removed and roughly chopped
15 Mini Heirloom Tomatoes (I got mine from Trader Joes)
3 Handfuls of Arugula
Tomato Basil Vinaigrette (recipe above)
Grated Parmesan Cheese; to top
Salt and pepper; to taste
Preparing the Dressing:
Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until desired consistency. I poured mine into a jar and put it into the fridge to cool.
Making the Salad:
Combine all ingredients into a bowl or serving dish, toss with 1/3 of the dressing and let sit for 15-20 minutes (if you’ve got the time) to let the arugula begin to wilt. Eating immediately out of the bowl is a popular option, too. Top with parmesan cheese and eat it with your favorite person.
Recipe adapted from Seasons & Suppers
Mix leftovers in with scrambled eggs the next morning