Monday, August 8, 2011

Radish Toasts and Confetti Corn Salad (No oven needed!)


Ahh, summer ... long days of sun, a more relaxed schedule (hopefully!), vacations with family, catching up on books, watching kids splash in the water, dining al fresco or lounging in a hammock. Whatever summer means to you, I’m sure it involves eating some incredible food, food that needs little in the way of seasoning or cooking to let it shine. Strolling through the farmers’ markets or diving into your CSA box means enjoying produce at its freshest and best. Summer also often means you do not need to turn on your oven to create dishes everyone will enjoy.

Corn and blueberries is a farmer’s market combination I’ve been smitten with lately. Both are in season now, and together they are so pretty and so very good! Last week I indulged in a creamy risotto topped with fresh corn and blueberries at Cantinetta. Needless to say, a sublime dish. And I just discovered this recipe for corn and blueberry cobbler that I want (need) to try. Have I mentioned I adore cobblers?

Another blissful pairing is radishes with butter and salt. Sometimes I have to stop myself from eating this combo every day. You can enjoy radishes with herb butter on thinly sliced bread, which makes a lovely appetizer, or by tearing off a hunk of baguette, swiping it in soft butter, sticking a couple radish slices on top and sprinkling with salt. Your choice ... both are delicious!


Radish Toasts with Lemon Basil Butter
Serves 1 (easily doubles)

2 thin slices of your favorite bread
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
10 lemon basil leaves
A few grinds of grains of paradise or black pepper
2 large radishes, thinly sliced
Sea salt to taste

Lightly toast the slices of bread and let cool.

Roughly chop the lemon basil leaves. With a mortar and pestle, pound the butter, leaves and grains of paradise together until well mixed.

Smear each slice of toast with 1/2 tablespoon of herbed butter. Arrange radish slices on top and sprinkle with sea salt. Enjoy!

Confetti Corn Salad
Serves 4

When corn is at its peak during the summer, it can be served fresh off the cob and is sweet, crispy and flavorful. As I was cutting corn off the cob, I thought about confetti and decided to create a colorful salad with the raw kernels. A simple lemon and lime dressing gives the salad a bright, citrusy flavor. Quick and easy for a warm summer evening!

4 ears of corn, shucked
1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 orange bell pepper, diced small
1 avocado, diced small
1/2 English cucumber, diced small
1/2 large lemon, sliced for squeezing
1 lime, sliced for squeezing
Splash of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Stand each ear of corn up in a large bowl and use a knife to cut the corn kernels off the cob. You can save the cobs to simmer in soup stock, or toss them out the back door to the chickens for an afternoon treat as I did.

In a medium size bowl, combine the corn kernels, tomatoes, blueberries, bell pepper, avocado and cucumber. Squeeze the lemon and lime over the mix and stir gently. Add a splash of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Stir again and serve.

8 comments:

  1. Your uncle Dale packed his suitcases FULL of radishes when he was in the NW. Says he can't get decent ones in NE after May. Our cool weather crops RULE all year long, esp., this year!

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  2. @Pauline
    I'm smiling thinking of Uncle Dale and a suitcase full of radishes! Love it. Yes, we are fortunate with our cool weather crops here. A positive way to look at our chilly summer, too (although it's definitely improving now).

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  3. Love the look of the confetti salad - it is so festive and pretty. I'm really going to miss all this summer produce!

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  4. @thislittlepiggywenttothefarmersmarket.com
    Thank you! Totally agree, I'll miss summer's fruit and veggies, too. Eat and enjoy all we can while it's here!

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  5. It does look like confetti! Love it!

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  6. Oh you had me at lemon basil butter, with the radishes & toasted bread what a wonderful combination....roll on spring :)

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  7. @Mairi
    A lovely way to celebrate spring when it arrives for you!

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