I forget what the inspiration was the first time I made this. I know I took it to someone’s house for a summer party, but the rest is lost to me.
The last few years, it’s become a summer staple in my house. Or the house of anyone who had a little more room on their table and was kind enough to have me over. I made it again on Monday to take to a picnic. I like it well enough that the one time I tried putting meat in it was the last time. And I’m one of those people who thinks meat makes most things better.
Couple folks saw me mention it and asked for a recipe. So.
Getting a little char on the corn is important, and use the best tomatoes and olive oil you can tolerate — because of budget or snobbiness-aversion reasons. Either is totally acceptable.
What really made this work when I lived in the South were the tomatoes. The heat does something to them there. Meaty, firm, uncutous tomatoes. I usually use a red or black variety, like Paul Robeson, but yellow zebras do something cool to this, too.
Winds up looking roughly like this:
So make it. Eat it. And if you remember, tell me what you thought.
Roasted corn salad
— Six ears corn, husked
— Six or seven plum-sized tomatoes, diced; heirlooms if possible
— Three shallots, halved and sliced paper thin
— Handful or two fresh basil, torn or sliced into chiffonade
— 1/3 cup cider vinegar
— extra-virgin olive oil and Kosher or sea salt and fresh-cracked black pepper to taste
(Optional: a sliced jalapeno, couple roasted poblano peppers, chopped fresh oregano)
Rub the corn with olive oil and roast in a 425-degree oven or grill until fully cooked. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, toss together gently shallots, diced tomatoes, salt and pepper, vinegar (and poblano/jalapeno if using).
When the corn cools, stand it on end on a cutting board and cut the kernels from the cob with a sharp knife. Add the corn to the bowl and toss.
Add in olive oil slowly, stirring gently. When it tastes like the right mix of acidity and fruity olive oil, you’re good. Add in the basil (and oregano, if you like) and toss.
Let sit about 15 minutes, toss and eat.