Napa Sweet Corn Salad

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NAPA SWEET CORN SALAD-An unexpected ingredient adds crisp crunch to a classic corn salad, and the easy vinaigrette pulls it all together. Perfect for summer and fall meals!

An unexpected ingredient adds crisp crunch to a classic corn salad, and the easy vinaigrette pulls it all together. Perfect for summer and fall meals!

 

 

 

As mid-August rolls around, I still feel firmly planted in summer in many ways, but reminders of fall are increasingly frequent.

Despite the still-present heat and humidity, some mornings feel almost cool. And when I wake up for my early gym days, the sky is dark where it was so recently light, and the sun sets a bit earlier each evening.

There’s another small sign of the seasonal shift that I notice every year at the various farmers markets I visit. While summer corn, tomatoes, and fresh herbs are still abundant, the arrival of apples is a sure reminder that fall is coming.

I make a variety of corn salads throughout the summer-my family adores them. So last year at this time, when I noticed a recipe from Iowa Girl Eats that unexpectedly incorporated a fall staple into an otherwise basic corn salad, I felt compelled to try.

Truth be told, it was the easy, breezy sound of the title that initially caught my attention. “Napa Sweet Corn Salad” conjures up images of sunny California, where there’s no shortage of fresh, flavorful, healthy food, served with a laid back vibe (and perhaps a glass of wine🍷).

Attention-grabbing name aside, it was the addition of a fall staple (apples) to a summer favorite (corn salad) that I had to try.

Would the flavors really work?

NAPA SWEET CORN SALAD-An unexpected ingredient adds crisp crunch to a classic corn salad, and the easy vinaigrette pulls it all together. Perfect for summer and fall meals!

Though I added more corn to the original recipe (for what I deemed to be a better balance of ingredients) and found that only half the dressing was necessary, the answer was decidedly “yes.”

When I first prepared this salad last summer, I was cooking for my parents. I served it alongside grilled salmon drizzled with leftover Liquid Gold Sauce. Mom and Dad are somewhat traditional with their tastes, so I wasn’t sure how the unique combination would be received, but they loved it and went back for seconds-and happily kept the small amount of leftovers!

The salad pairs equally well with chicken, and I think pork would be lovely alternative.

NAPA SWEET CORN SALAD-An unexpected ingredient adds crisp crunch to a classic corn salad, and the easy vinaigrette pulls it all together. Perfect for summer and fall meals!

Napa Sweet Corn Salad
Yield: 5-6 side dish servings
An unexpected ingredient adds crisp crunch to a classic corn salad, and the easy vinaigrette pulls it all together. Perfect for summer and fall meals!
For the salad:
  • 3 cups sweet corn kernels, cooked (from 3-4 large ears*)
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large or 1 cup seeded and diced vine-ripened tomato
  • 2 green onions, sliced (could substitute a few tablespoons minced red onion or a sprinkle of snipped fresh chives)
  • 1 small avocado, chopped
  • 1 cup diced red apple (I’ve used ½ cup each red and green apple)
  • ⅓ cup roughly chopped salted almonds
  • ¼ cup packed fresh basil, chopped
For the Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette:
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon honey (have used maple syrup for vegan option)
  • ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and several turns of the pepper mill
Instructions:

For the vinaigrette: Combine the ingredients in a jar or bowl. Shake or whisk to combine. Set aside.  Make-ahead tip: The dressing can be made a day or two in advance, covered, and refrigerated until ready to use.

Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl and then drizzle with the vinaigrette. Stir to combine and enjoy.

Notes:

*If your corn on the cob is very fresh, feel free to use it raw.

Tips:
The salad can be assembled and tossed with the vinaigrette an hour or two before serving. The dressing will keep the apple and avocado from browning. For maximum crunch from the almonds, however, add them just before serving.
A ripe but not-too-soft avocado will stand up better when tossed in a salad. Avocados ripen best at room temperature—and they ripen quickly. So as soon as they are ripe, I transfer them to the refrigerator to slow further ripening and extend what is otherwise the short window of perfect ripeness. At this point, they will usually keep for about a week in the fridge.

Adapted From: Iowa Girl Eats
The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/

 

 

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