Peach Basil Corn Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette
In continuing my salad posts this week, here is a slightly different take on salad…CORN salad. Corn is in season from now through early fall and there is nothing like fresh corn on the cob. But you can also take that corn OFF the cob and use it in delicious salads. The sugar in corn quickly turns to starch after it is picked, so use corn within 1 to 2 days of purchase for optimal sweetness. Local corn has the sweetest flavor since it has not spent days being trucked across country (more flavor= more nutrients). So look for corn at your local farmer’s market, in the “local” section at the grocery store, or ask the produce manager where the corn is from and when it was picked.
My friend Nicole made this salad last summer and I was very resistant to the whole basil leaves, but she won me over! All the flavors combine perfectly so that the basil is not too overwhelming. This recipe is for 1 serving, for more, multiply this times the amount of servings you need (generally each serving needs one ear of corn, one peach and one small handful of basil).
Shuck the corn, removing as many the strings as possible. Cut off the kernels into a large bowl and discard the cob (or freeze it and use it to make corn stock for corn chowder). No need to cook the corn first, fresh sweet corn tastes best right off the cob (cooking the corn converts the sugars to starch making it less sweet).
Slice the peach into 8ths around the pit, and then around the center (see picture) and gently remove the pieces from the pit. Add a small handful of whole basil leaves and toss.
I don’t find the need to make the dressing separately, I just drizzle each ingredient on top and toss. The liquid from the peaches helps the dressing combine without the need to whisk it together ahead of time ,which makes prep even quicker! Add with 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon of honey, 1 tsp of good quality olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
This comes together in literally minutes and the sweetness of the peaches is a beautiful contrast to the tangy vinaigrette. Believe me, this will be your new favorite salad of the summer, and best of all corn AND peaches are in season right now!
Having a BBQ? Try this with grilled corn and peaches. Halve the peaches and remove the pits. Grill cut side down until grill marks appear, then cut. Grill shucked corn for 30 seconds on each side, cool and cut kernels off the cob.