Corn Salad - Fresh & Roasted

Oh, I can hear the sigh from my viewers now saying "another salad".  But as I believe I have mentioned before that salad can be made from just about anything. That's because the actual definition of salad is:
A dish consisting of small pieces of food, which may be mixed with a sauce or dressing. They are typically served cold. Salads can incorporate a variety of foods including vegetables, fruits, cheese, cooked meat, eggs and grains.

Now that is a versatile beauty!! Which is why I love SALAD, and why I make salad out of anything. And why I will continue to post interesting combinations to create salads, hopefully inspiring you to combine small bits, dress them up and give them a name followed by 'salad'.

Now this may sound super corny, but during the summer months I wake up on Saturdays a bit giddy. This is wholly due to the fact that our town hosts a farmer's market.  I get my large wicker basket that I bought in Spain, many moons ago and off I got in search of something interesting.  I suppose the idea of shopping for what's fresh reminds me of those days I lived in Spain when we used to shop on a daily basis. It was the genesis of my love and preference for buying from local markets rather than going to a supermarket. Wherever we go, we try to visit the local market just to get a feel for the food, culture and beauty.  The markets in Europe are a bit different as
they literally have everything from meat to fish to veggies and nuts.  Yet whether in a foreign country or right here in the US, if there's a farmer's market, I make a bee line. Call me old fashioned, it's ok.  I already know it.  

Here's a little sampling of various markets.

 Fruits and vegetables in Barcelona's  La Bocaqueria .

Fruits and vegetables in Barcelona's La Bocaqueria.

 JuanCarlos in his glory in front of a large variety of dried mushrooms in Barcelona.

JuanCarlos in his glory in front of a large variety of dried mushrooms in Barcelona.

 JC wanted to buy an abundance of fish, but trying to figure out how to store it, cook it in our hotel in Barcelona!

JC wanted to buy an abundance of fish, but trying to figure out how to store it, cook it in our hotel in Barcelona!

 Gorgeous and freshly plucked choices at the market in Marin County, CA

Gorgeous and freshly plucked choices at the market in Marin County, CA

 Freshly baked artisan breads/ Marin  County, CA

Freshly baked artisan breads/ Marin  County, CA

 Abundance in Florence, Italy

Abundance in Florence, Italy

 Your choice of fruit in Florence, Italy

Your choice of fruit in Florence, Italy

 Everything from locally made honey, breads, cheese, etc in the heart of Rome, Italy

Everything from locally made honey, breads, cheese, etc in the heart of Rome, Italy

 Dry cured meats in a small but fully packed local market Rome, Italy.

Dry cured meats in a small but fully packed local market Rome, Italy.

So with that back story, and back from my trip down memory lane, the motivation for this one stemmed from spotting fresh corn at the farmer's market, and with it being in season I knew it needed to be the star.  I picked up a few other supporting characters and home I went.

 Corn, fennel, farm fresh tomatoes (those will be making an appearance on a tart).  Other items are at the bottom of my "Spanish wicker basket".

Corn, fennel, farm fresh tomatoes (those will be making an appearance on a tart).  Other items are at the bottom of my "Spanish wicker basket".

INGREDIENTS  

Makes approx. 8 cups

6 fresh corn on the cob
3 medium white potatoes
1 English or 4 Persian cucumbers
1/4 c fennel, sliced
3 celery stalks, sliced
5 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 small red onion, minced
1 (28 oz) can chick peas, drained

Dressing
1 lemon, juiced
1 lime, juiced
zest of 1 lemon
1/3 c olive oil
salt, pepper
red pepper flakes, pinch
4-5 tbsp fresh mint, julienned

 The leading lady, Corn, and some of her supporting cast members.

The leading lady, Corn, and some of her supporting cast members.

Instructions

Cut the potatoes into bite size cubes (as shown above) and cook them in salted boiling water until fork tender. Drain and set aside. Lightly oil 3 of the corn cobs and grill them on all sides.

 I use a grill  pan right on the stove top.  You don't need to fire up the grill, but if it so strikes you to do so, by all means.

I use a grill  pan right on the stove top.  You don't need to fire up the grill, but if it so strikes you to do so, by all means.

In a large bowl, squeeze the juices of the lemon and limes plus the zest.  Add salt, pepper and pinch of red pepper flakes and the mint. Drizzle in the olive oil and whisk together.  (If you think there might be too much dressing, pour some into a jar to reserve and add as needed.)  Add the potatoes and chick peas to the bowl.
This allows them to absorb the dressing and get yummy while you are prepping the other ingredients.

Meanwhile, cut the kernels off the remaining 3 cobs.  Slice the scallions, celery, fennel and cut the cucumber into chunks. Mince the red onion and toss all these in a bowl.  

Once the cobs are grilled, still warm but cool enough to handle, cut the kernels off of those and add to the salad.
Stir it all up and see if you need to add more dressing or adjust salt, pepper to taste.   

 Nicely roasted with a little char to give a deep earthly flavor

Nicely roasted with a little char to give a deep earthly flavor

 Warm, roasted kernels waiting to join the party.

Warm, roasted kernels waiting to join the party.

Of course, this salad is at it's best when corn is in season.  Right NOW.  So hurry to your farmer's market to pick up some corn and serve up it 2 ways in 1 salad: Fresh & Roasted.  Plus the farmer's market is a wonderful place to be inspired by all the gorgeous produce waiting to be made into something from your imagination.   As with many of my salads, they pair nicely with grilled meats, chicken or fish.  I brought this salad to party and it fit in right along an array of BBQ hamburgers, hot dogs and wings. Plus, I was thrilled when several guests asked for the recipe.
My answer; it will be my next blog post.  Voilá, as promised.  

 Before I brought it to the party, I took a little taste for myself.  You always need to taste check your creations!!

Before I brought it to the party, I took a little taste for myself.  You always need to taste check your creations!!

(Note: if you don't feel like grilling the corn, then don't.  This recipe is just as delicious if you use all the corn fresh off the cob.  Remember my recipes are just guides. Add, subtract, mix and match as you see fit.  That is the beauty of the something from nothing cooking.  You use what you have, in the amounts that you have and harmonize all the other ingredients to your liking.)