Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Seared Corn and Feta Salad with Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette

This salad doesn't need much introduction other than it is a really delicious, light and refreshing summer meal.  It is perfect to bring to a bbq, and it has way more complex flavor than you'd expect from just a few ingredients.  Have you ever seared corn?  Well, searing the corn gives it a smoky taste, turning it into an almost popcorn-like flavor.  The light dressing adds a tang and sweetness, and the feta adds some saltiness.  Tomatoes and onion round out the dish and just make it really, really yummy.

What you'll need:
Corn and Feta Salad
3 cobs of corn
1/2-1 cup crumbled feta
1/2 chopped red onion
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, sliced lengthwise

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
1 cup loosely packed cilantro
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 heaping tablespoon honey
salt+pepper to taste
1/2 cup canola oil

Boil the corn for about 4 minutes in salty water.  This will slightly under cook the corn but you will be finishing it off in a pan so this is the goal.  While the corn is boiling, put the vinaigrette ingredients, minus the oil in a food processor or vitamix.  Pulse a few times, and then pour in the oil slowly while mixing.  This will create a very pleasing light green dressing that is sweet, tangy and light.  
 When the corn is done, carve the corn off of the cob, season it with salt and pepper and begin heating 2-3 tablespoons of oil in a cast iron or non non-stick pan.  When the oil is hot, and nearly smoking, put the corn in the pan.  Place a cover partially over the top of the pan so as to not hurt yourself because these corn kernels will pop.  And they hurt, too.  Don't touch the corn for about a minute or so so it browns on one side, and then (very carefully) take a spatula and flip the kernels.  The corn is done when it is slightly brown on each side.
Toss the corn, feta, onions, tomatoes and dressing together while warm and serve.  The salad tastes just as good the next day, cold, from the fridge.  

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