If there are two foods that have Summer emblazoned across their tiny little foreheads, they are corn and tomatoes. There is nothing like biting into a home-grown tomato. This year I actually ate tomatoes that I grew right outside my front door. There weren't many (two), but I did it! I've also been lucky to be given tomatoes from a friend's garden. And I've picked up a few heirlooms at the farmers' market here and there.
Corn makes me think of family cookouts, messy fingers, and butter sliding off the cob faster than you can bite into it. I've grown to like corn more and more over the years. I'm pretty much a purist eating it off the cob with nothing more than butter and a sprinkle of salt. That's nostalgia more than anything else. Though what I really dig these days is corn salsa, bringing together both corn and tomatoes in one dish. Fresh flavours at the height of their season.
Here in Los Angeles, every Saturday morning from 10am to noon, you can tune into KNX on the AM dial (yes, radio!) and listen to Melinda Lee do her show, 'Food News.' She's been on the air for years and has years and years of experience in food. I love listening to her. She's engaging, educational, amusing, and full of information. Each week her show has a theme and listeners are invited to call in to ask questions...any question dealing with food and not necessarily on that week's topic. Last week's topic was, you guessed it, corn! I went to her website and checked out the show topic's collection of recipes and made a riff on the corn salsa recipe she posted. It's a recipe that comes together very quickly. Just be sure to let it sit for at least an hour after you make it, so all the flavours can mingle.
Grill some chicken, tear it into pieces...top a tostada with the chicken and the salsa and you have something really magical and full of Summer in each bite.
(Adapted from Melinda Lee's Roasted White Corn Salsa)
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
1 cup cooked corn
1 small jalapeno, minced
1/4 cup onion, minced
1/4 cup tomato, chopped
juice from one lime
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp parsley, minced
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and stir well. Set aside for at least an hour, letting flavours mingle and develop.