Monday, September 21, 2015

Tomatoes and corn in late summer

This might win a prize for most unoriginal post ever. I mean, what else are you supposed to do in summer? Sure, there are grilling recipes (like a potato, white bean and red onion salad that was just alright), and some awesome-sounding yet profoundly disappointing recipes (I’m looking at you, chicken guacamole burgers). Yet most recipes relying on fresh, seasonal produce won’t steer you wrong, and you barely need to do anything to it. I ate A LOT of corn and heirloom tomatoes lately, and I’ve been making lunches out of them to prevent the Engineer from getting tired of them. It turns out that the Little Prince loves fresh corn, which is somewhat unexpected given how much he despised canned or frozen corn whenever it was presented to him.

There was a chickpea salad with tomatoes and roasted corn, served with honey lime cilantro vinaigrette. And my oh my, was it ever fantastic! I used a touch less garlic in the dressing (since it’s raw), and I roasted the corn in the oven at 450 °F for 20 minutes. I was going to share it here, but then I didn’t because I thought, Am I really going to talk about another chickpea salad? But if you’re into that, please click on the link and get that recipe; you can thank me later.

I also tried a (corn-less) cold soup by the name of tomato-mango coconut cooler, which I found in a magazine. It was refreshing and original, but the Little Prince didn’t like it (even though he liked the mango by itself), and the Engineer never even tasted it, so perhaps it’s a bit out there as a recipe.

Earlier this year, when I was reading Delancey (Molly Wizenberg’s second memoir), I bookmarked a salad that I’m glad I remembered now that the ingredients are in season: her tomato and fresh corn salad with shallot vinaigrette, that she and her husband served when their restaurant first opened in late August several years ago. It was really, really good, and I loved the sharpness of the vinaigrette here to offset the corn. I’ll be keeping that recipe in my back pocket.

The recipe I’ll share today, though, is Bon Appétit’s tomato-peach salad with tofu cream. I’m actually changing the recipe below slightly and omitting the soy sauce in the tofu cream (which I felt was too much), but the rest was delectable. I served it with toasted bread. The Little Price mostly liked the corn and peaches that didn’t have soy sauce on them; we liked all of it. (The green plate was the Little Prince’s plate, though obviously I then cut his food into bite-sized pieces for him.)

8 oz. silken tofu
4 Tbsp. sherry vinegar, divided (I used white wine vinegar)
4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 medium heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1-inch wedges
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 medium peaches, cut into ½-inch wedges
½ small red onion, thinly sliced (I used my vegetable peeler for this)
½ cup fresh corn kernels (from 1 medium ear)
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh chervil, plus sprigs for serving (I omitted it because I couldn’t find any)

Blend tofu, 2 Tbsp. vinegar, and 1 Tbsp. oil in a blender until light and smooth; season tofu cream with salt.

Whisk remaining 2 Tbsp. vinegar, 3 Tbsp. oil, and soy sauce in a large bowl (or shake it together in a jar); season with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes, peaches, onion, corn, tarragon, and chopped chervil and toss to combine. Adjust seasoning if needed.

Swipe tofu cream on a platter and arrange tomato salad over; top with chervil sprigs. Serve with bread.

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