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Summer Corn Salad with Basil Pesto Dressing

School started last week. Needless to say I am incredibly busy- even a little too busy to cook. A friend even called me out for purchasing some frozen meals from Trader Joe’s. YIKES.  So today, I finally have a little free time so I thought I’d go through the fridge and pantry and see what we have lying around to cook. What did I find? Corn on the cob, heirlooms, spinach and basil:  a sad reminder that summer is pretty much over. Instead of crawling back into bed and despairing over the loss of my favorite season, I decided to get cooking.

Summer Corn Salad

5 corn cobs (shucked)

handful spinach

handful heirloom cherry tomatoes

1/4 cup peas

dash garlic oil

dash basil oil

squeeze fresh lemon juice

Basil Pesto Dressing

large handful pesto

1 large clove garlic

2 tablespoons walnut oil

2 tablespoons parmesan cheese

olive oil to smooth the mixture together

First prepare the basil pesto dressing. Put all ingredients in the food processor and blend. Add the olive oil last- add just enough so the mixture is a light green color. The walnut oil is a great addition especially if you don’t have any pine nuts to add. It is highly concentrated so be sure not to add too much. Pour mixture into a bowl and set aside. You should have about 1/2-3/4 cup pesto sauce.

Put a large pan over medium high heat. Pour in some garlic/basil oil or some olive oil. Whatever you have in the house is fine.  Add in corn, spinach and tomatoes. Saute until heated through. Pour the pesto dressing over the mixture. Add lemon juice. Let everything cook together for a few minutes. The tomatoes will begin to soften and then you know you’re done!

At this point feel free to add in some parmesan cheese or even some cream. That would really bring the dish together and make it a slightly more luxurious side.

All together making this dish took a rousing 10 minutes to make. I even have time to get started on my homework….or watch the cooking channel where Tyler Florence is in Italy searching from some spectacularly expensive white truffles.

I’d like to specially thank my basil plant for this great dish. I regret to say that I killed my last basil plant. Why? I used all the basil and then forgot the plant existed. I finally found it behind our curtain and it looked like a dead forest only found in horror movies. But now I’m trying again. I have a new plant and I will NOT let it die. I’ll let you all know by the next blog post how that works out…

So this is where I leave you. Goodbye summer salad. Be sure to get your fill of delicious corn, heirlooms and basil before the flavor begins to…die. Of course you can always purchase frozen corn and maybe even find some good basil. But the combo with the heirlooms is unparalleled so be sure to make this before it’s too late.

RIP summer. See ya next year.

Bon Eating,


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