Summer Salad with Basil Dressing

Fall is quickly approaching, but that doesn’t mean summer or, more importantly, summer vegetables have left us quite yet. This is a really simple salad featuring some of summer’s star veggies: tomatoes and corn. A simple basil dressing compliments the sweetness and freshness of the roasted corn and ripe tomatoes for salad that is as fresh as it is delightful. This recipe for salad with basil dressing is a perfect, and ridiculously easy, way to celebrate the summer before fall rolls into town.

Summer Salad with Basil Dressing, works for 2-3 as a main dish or 4 side salads.

Ingredients:

  • 2 heads Butter Lettuce, washed and dried
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1-pint cherry tomatoes (or whatever tomato is calling to you at the grocery store. Just make sure to stay away from anything looking too mealy. Think bright and vibrant).
  • 2 ears of sweet corn, shucked and with any silk removed from it.
  • Protein of your choice (I had mine with chicken, but this would also work really well with fish or scallops)
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil.

For the Dressing:

  • 1 ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • Juice from two lemons
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste.

Equipment:

  • Food Processor* for the dressing
  • 1 baking sheet
  • Aluminum foil
  • A sharp, sturdy knife like a chef’s knife or Santoku knife for the corn
  • *If you don’t have a food processor don’t freak out. You can use a blender or sharp knife and a whisk to chop the basil and mix the dressing.

The Process:

1) Roasting the corn: Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Take one ear of your shucked corn and rub it with about ½ teaspoon of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and wrap completely with aluminum foil. Repeat with the second ear of corn. Place both on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 45 minutes. Let them cool completely.

2) Using a sharp knife, Cut the corn kernels of the corn cob. There will be a little of the kernel left on the cob, but don’t neglect this. With the back of your knife scrape the rest of the kernel off the cob. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

Sweet basil goodness

3) Make the dressing: Place the basil, salt, pepper, honey, and lemon juice in a food processor. Pulse in the food processor for a few seconds until the basil is roughly chopped. Turn the food processor on and slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Its ok if the dressing isn’t perfectly smooth. Store the dressing in an airtight container with some plastic wrap layered directly over the surface of the dressing. This helps prevent oxidation.

*C and S Note: You can prep the corn and the dressing ahead of time. The corn will be good in the fridge for 2-3 days and the dressing will survive for up to 4. Though both are so good, they probably wont last long in there.

4) Assemble the salad: Put the tomatoes, corn, lettuce, and avocado in a large bowl. Drizzle the dressing over the salad being careful not to drown everything in dressing (butter lettuce is pretty delicate and will go limp if you drench it). Toss and Serve.

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