Hazelnut Corn Salad
My search for the perfect sweet corn continues, although I have found a quite decent farm market that grows their own corn, the fields are about one hour from the market and we are generally buying day old corn. The minute you pick sweet corn, the sugars convert into starches and begin the make the corn tough and not taste as sweet. Day-old fresh picked corn is clearly superior to the stuff in supermarkets, but once you have had hour-young corn, you get really picky. Picky. Get it? Corn. Pick. Pick the corn…OK, lame.
This recipe is anything but. This is another way I use leftover cooked corn if I have it, but it is worth buying corn just for this dish. Add some grilled chicken, shrimp, sliced steak or fish and it becomes a meal. Feel free to swap out some veggies, but just picked seasonal selections are a must. If they are cooked, cook lightly so they retain their fresh-from-the-garden crunch. And don’t use too many different kinds-you should taste each vegetable in all its’ glory. Amounts are approximate-adjust them to what you have/like best, but the corn should shine.
- ½ C skinned hazelnuts, toasted and chopped very coarsely
- Cut corn from about 9 ears
- 1 lb. green beans, trimmed and lightly cooked
- ¼ C. of the best extra virgin olive oil you can find/afford
- 2 TBL. white balsamic or white wine vinegar
- Kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste
- ¾ lb. (about 2 C.) cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and diced
- 1 hot pepper, minced (optional)
- 2 scallions, finely sliced
- 2 TBL. chopped cilantro
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Toast the hazelnuts for about 8 minutes. If they have skins on them, place them all, hot, on a rough(terrycloth) towel, fold over the towel to cover and RUB the skins off. Be aggressive!
Coarsely chop and set aside.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil and drop in the trimmed beans.
Cook for 3-4 minutes depending on the thickness of the beans. They should still be crisp. Transfer them from the pot to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking a preserve the bright green color.
When they are cool, drain and pat dry.
Cut into 2” lengths.
Halve the cherry tomatoes.
Chop the cilantro.
Slice the scallions.
Cut the cooked corn off the cob and put in a large bowl with the tomatoes, beans, scallions, and cilantro.
Peel and dice the avocado.
Add the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
Sprinkle with hazelnuts and serve.
You can prep everything except the avocado earlier in the day and refrigerate separately (don’t refrigerate the tomatoes and hazelnuts). Bring to room temperature and add the avocado, tomatoes, oil, vinegar and seasonings. Toss, sprinkle with the hazelnuts and serve.