Posts Tagged ‘summer salad



I know a recipe is good if I’m still thinking about it three weeks later. Yesterday I picked up six ears of corn at the Tower Grove Farmer’s Market because I needed to make this again. Sweet corn kernels, limas, garbanzos, tomatoes tossed with tarragon and a champagne vinaigrette. It’s so amazingly addictive. Hands down, this is my favorite find this summer.

I adapted this from a recipe on the Williams-Sonoma website.  There is a lot of wiggle room here — grill the corn, or boil it. Use other varieties of beans, such as fava, or use different herbs. But please, do include tarragon. The hint of licorice and the sweet tang of the vinaigrette is what really make this work.

I took some of this over to my friend Christine, who had twin boys five months ago. Yes, it’s taken me five months to take food to her. I also took her my mom’s chicken tetrazzini — 80’s comfort food at its best.  Better late than never, right?

And few things are better than summer veggies in late July. Sweet corn, multi-colored tomatoes, fragrant herbs. Before I turn you loose with this recipe, know that this may take longer to make than you’d expect. Plan for 45 minutes if you use corn on the cob. The only problem here is you’ll end up with more vinaigrette than you’ll need. This is best at room temperature. I can say with near certainty that it’s nothing like the succotash you grew up with.

adapted from

For the Champagne vinaigrette:

1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 T Champagne vinegar
2 T Dijon mustard
1 shallot, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. white pepper


6 ears of corn, husks and silks removed
3 to 4 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups frozen lima beans
1 1/2 cups frozen edamame
1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded and diced
10 to 12 cherry or tear-drop tomatoes, halved lengthwise
2 T chopped fresh basil
2 T chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 T chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

To make the vinaigrette, in a bowl, combine the grapeseed oil and olive oil in a measuring cup with a spout. In a nonaluminum bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, shallot, salt and white pepper. Add the oils in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly. Use immediately, or cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Bring a pot three-fourths full of salted water to a boil over high heat. Boil corn for 10 minutes. Rinse under cold water. Remove kernels with a paring knife, running the knife down the cob vertically. Put corn in a large bowl. Boil edamame and lima beans according to package instructions.

In a large bowl, combine the corn kernels, chickpeas, lima beans, vine-ripened and teardrop tomatoes, basil, parsley, tarragon and onion. Drizzle with 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette and toss gently to coat. Season with salt and black pepper.

Serve with the remaining vinaigrette on the side. Serves 6 to 8.


Mesclun Salad with Bacon-Wrapped Figs and Chevre

A vacation before going on vacation would be nice — time to pack, stop at Target, fill containers with shampoo and sunscreen, and consume the amazing produce hanging out in our kitchen. Alas, no such luck. Instead, it’s been one big race to wrap up stuff at work and pack. And then there’s the CSA produce I brought home a few days ago….

Among the items to eat in the next 24 hours: figs. I’ve had mixed luck with figs. I’ve tried wrapping them in prosciutto and grilling them, which should have been easy but ended in disaster. Many years ago I baked them in cookies — an adult version of fig newtons, only a thousand times better.

The other day, I set out to make a salad inspired by my friend Georgina. The plan was to wrap the figs in bacon, roast them, add to mixed greens, and toss with blue cheese and balsamic vinaigrette. I altered this approach by a smidgin. We happened to have chevre in our refrigerator. So I used a melon baller to scoop out the flesh and stuffed the figs with goat cheese. And instead of balsamic, I used a red wine vinaigrette.

Wow, figs are beautiful. They’re exotic. And they never last long. I came home from the Fair Shares pickup site with eight of them. A couple were large and sturdy, and pretty easy to  scoop and stuff. The rest were delicate. One fell apart during the scooping process. In the end, they were absolutely scrumptious wrapped in bacon, especially with chevre oozing from them. Brown sugar kept the bacon from over powering the figs.  You could also serve the figs as a hot appetizer.

Continue reading ‘Mesclun Salad with Bacon-Wrapped Figs and Chevre’


Orzo with Feta and Cherry Tomatoes

This past month is a blur. The life adjustment, the pace of getting out the door in the morning, the lack of spare time — it’s like a race. Still, I’m trying my best to make time for a few simple splurges. Long showers. Morning runs. Good food.

The past few Sundays I’ve made batch recipes that Jeff and I could eat for lunch during the week. When you’re in the news business like we are, eating out doesn’t happen often (too many deadlines), and cafeteria food in our building doesn’t always cut it. This orzo salad with cherry tomatoes and feta definitely did.

I admit that finding the time to cook while working full-time with a baby is hard. I’m pretty stubborn when it comes to food. Seasonal ingredients are a must.  Processed food — very rarely. I dig my heels in when it comes to these things. That means almost everything we eat is fresh and homemade, and making it can be time consuming.

This orzo salad is a quickie, about 30 minutes from start to finish. And it’s amazing.  The tomatoes, feta, lemon zest, parsley, need I say more? It’s tangy, salty, bursting with flavor. The pine nuts give it a nice crunch. It’s almost as addictive as the kale and bulgur from a few weeks ago.

Continue reading ‘Orzo with Feta and Cherry Tomatoes’


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