Thursday, July 2, 2009

Simple Summer Salad

Last night was one of those evenings where everything just comes together. The friends, the food, the Proseco...

I got home a little late from summer camps, but had a pork tenderloin I had thawed overnight ready to do something to (quick balsamic, rosemary, & garlic marinade, then popped it on the grill). We invited a few folks over to enjoy dinner with us and surprise of surprises, they all said yes!

I had a few more guests than I had originally planned for (which is almost never a bad thing) so I knew I had to whip something up that was fast, filling, and didn't require a trip to the store to stretch out the pork. Salad was the first thing I thought of. Here's what I used:

  • 5 ears of leftover corn-on-the-cob which I cut off and then milked the corn ears
  • 4 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced (smallish dice)
  • A nice handful fresh basil from the garden, washed and cut into a chiffonade (long, thin strips)
  • half a box of Ditalini (I thought it would "match" the corn)
  • a good tablespoon Dijon
  • a couple of tablespoons of Cider Vinegar
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

That's it. I combined the corn, diced tomatoes, basil, and cooked ditalini in a big bowl and stirred them all together, then I made a quick vinaigrette with the Dijon, cider vinegar and olive oil. I seasoned that with salt and pepper, then tossed the whole shootin' match together and seasoned it again. The acidity of the cider vinegar was balanced nicely with the sweetness of the corn. Ahhhhhh. Really, really good.

One quick note on vinaigrettes: A classic vinaigrette includes 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil. I tend to like mine a little more tart, so I usually go 2:1, oil:vinegar. Combine the Dijon and vinegar, then drizzle in the oil while you whisk. It should keep everything together so that you don't need to re-whisk or worry about it separating. Also, I like things saucy, so I made around a 1/2-3/4 cup dressing for the salad. It was plenty, and it was delicious the next day too. When I ate it for lunch. And didn't share. Bad me. ;)

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