After a long morning of prepping for a cooking class scheduled the following day, my two assistants and I were wondering what to have for lunch. Looking in the fridge we spotted some limes and lemons, a large bunch of cilantro, a couple of ears of corn, and a bag of leftover salad greens. On the kitchen counter we noticed a ripe avocado and a bowl of multi-hued cherry tomatoes. It didn’t take us long to decide we could make a salad with our cache. What we weren’t expecting was for this impromptu creation to be so memorable!
We whisked lime and lemon juices with olive oil for a simple citrus vinaigrette, and for the salad we began by sautéing corn kernels scraped from the cobs. When lightly browned, we combined the golden morsels with halved cherry tomatoes and diced avocado. Since we had only a handful of salad greens, we used a generous amount of torn cilantro sprigs as a substitute. The substantial hit of cilantro’s assertive flavor turned out to be the secret to this salad’s delicious taste.
We piled the salad high on plates and dusted them with some coarsely grated hard-boiled egg. We also added a sprinkle of Mahon cheese, but the latter can be optional. The salad has become such a favorite that we’ve had it three more times for lunch on work days. Now each of us is planning to use it for summer suppers as a side to grilled mains such as chicken, lamb, or shrimp!
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Warm Weather Avocado, Corn and Tomato Salad with Lime Dressing
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp grated lime zest
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Several grinds black pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups corn kernels (scraped from 2 ears corn)
Several grounds black pepper
1 ripe avocado diced
2 tsp lime juice
1 1/2 to 2 cups cherry tomatoes, preferably multi-colored, halved
3 green onions sliced on the diagonal including 2 inches on the green stems
1 1/2 cups loosely packed torn cilantro sprigs
2 cups mixed greens
1 hard boiled egg, grated coarsely (See cooking tip)
1/3 cup grated Mahon cheese or creamy Gouda, optional
1. For the dressing in a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon and lime juices, lime zest, salt, and pepper. Then whisk in olive oil. (Dressing can be prepared 1 day ahead; cover and refrigerate. Whisk well before using.)
2. For the salad, in a medium, heavy skillet set over medium heat 2 tablespoons olive oil until hot. Add corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, and cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat and cool 5 minutes or longer.
3. Toss the diced avocado in a small bowl with 2 teaspoons of lime juice. Add it along with sautéed corn, tomatoes, and green onions to a large salad bowl. Toss mixture with half of the dressing and let stand 10 minutes.
4. Add the cilantro, mixed greens, and half of the grated egg to the bowl and toss with just enough of the remaining dressing to coat lightly. Season the salad with more salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle remaining grated egg over the salad and if desired garnish with some cheese. Serves 4 as a main course or 6 as a side.
Cooking tip: Instead of chopping a hard-boiled egg, carefully grate the egg using the large holes on a stand grater. This technique will yield a more even mix.
Copyright Betty Rosbottom 2018