This summer has been a bit of a blur. A beautiful blur. I’ve traveled a lot, eaten a lot, and spent a lot of time with people I love. So far, so good.
After being away for much of May, June & July, I’ve been back home in Manchester for a few weeks. I’m slowly slipping back in to the routine of home– the morning coffee, the grocery runs, the laundry folding. At first my return felt a bit like the end to a glorious summer of adventure, but the blooming flower pots lining our cute little street remind me it’s still warm(ish). We’ve still a few bright evenings and barbecue grills yet to enjoy.
In June, I spent a bit of time in Mississippi where the farmers markets overflow with ripe, beautiful fruits and vegetables. We go to the same market every summer, and I can hardly choose what to bring home among all the bounty. I think the variety and amazing quality of the produce in the US South was lost on me most of my life. It was just a given. Growing up, every summer I ate loads of fresh peaches, juices dripping down my face, their flesh still warm from the sun at the farm stand; the corn was sweet enough to eat raw; the salty, freshly boiled peanuts were my summer snack of choice.
In the hot months, I always crave all the vegetables and fruits I can get my hands on. I buy pints of fresh berries and baskets of stone fruits with the intention of transforming them into pies, shortcakes, jams. Almost always, my impatience gets the best of me, and I shovel palmfuls of blueberries and raspberries into my mouth in all their simple, delicious glory. The baked goods will have to wait another day.
This recipe, for corn and nectarine salad, perhaps more than others posted thus far, combines bits of seasonal produce with my food memories of the US south. We have particularly good nectarines at the moment which are reminiscent of the delicious peaches and are world’s apart from the depressing peaches I’ve found at the markets here. The charred sweet corn rekindles old memories of charcoal and mosquitoes under the stifling heat that nourished the very food we ate. The chili peppers, avocado, cilantro, and smokey sauce brings me back to Texas, the proud residents of which would certainly and loudly scoff at using just one chili.
Recipes like this one force me to sit and remember. Instead of a blur of recent travel, dinner becomes a blur of memories. And I quite like that.
If you like this Grilled Corn & Nectarine Salad with Charred Scallion Dressing, you might also like:
Grilled Corn & Nectarine Salad with Charred Scallion Dressing
For the vinaigrette:
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 11/2 teaspoons honey
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 6 charred scallions light green and white parts only, chopped fine
For the salad:
- 4 ears of corn grilled and cut off of the cob
- 2 white nectarines sliced
- 1 avocado sliced
- 6 sliced scallions only the dark green parts that you didn't use for the vinaigrette
- 3 tablespoon fresh cilantro
- 1 red chili pepper optional, sliced very thinly
First, make the vinaigrette:
In a medium bowl whisk together lime juice, kosher salt & honey. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, while continually whisking, until the mixture is emulsified. Stir in the charred scallions. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Llet the dressing sit while you put together the salad. As it sits the flavors will meld & the vinaigrette will get a little smoky from the scallions & will be all the more delicious.
Put the salad together:
Once all you fruits and veggies are prepped, toss the corn, the dark green scallions, red chili pepper (if using), and cilantro in a medium large serving bowl with about half of the vinaigrette. Add the nectarines & avocado and very gently toss again. Taste for seasoning and add more vinaigrette or salt if you'd like! I usually add al little more dressing and then save the rest for grilled veggies later in the week.
So here's the thing with the corn & the scallions. It's my opinion they are most delicious when licked by the flames on a grill. That said, if you are not already firing up your grill, or you don't have one, there's a simple fix that will give you a delicious char without the work of the grill. Give the corn a quick five minute boil on the stove top. Remove the corn and dry it off. Put the corn and the scallions on a roasting pan under a broiler (about 4-5 inches from the top) preheated to high. Rotate the vegetables every 2 minutes or so. The corn will take a while to char all the way around & the scallions will only need to be flipped one time and then removed.
*This salad is great as a side salad and is enough for 6-8 servings. If you'd want to eat it as a meal, I'd say it feeds 4 and that you should add another avocado to the recipe.