While many regard Labor Day as the end of summer, eager to transition into comfy boots, sweaters and fall flavors, any gardener waits to officially concede to the autumn after the final harvest of summer vegetables. I for one have always loved all that fall had to offer; but with so much bounty still not quiet ripe, I've been savoring every warm day these last few weeks leading into the autumn equinox this Wednesday.
Sometimes you can just feel it in the air, but the last couple days I've noticed that fall is coming full force; acorns are started to cover the backyard and the hens have begin their annual molt (the process of shedding and regrowing their feathers). This past week I pulled the last cucumber, and many of the last vine ripened tomatoes out the garden. Within the next couple days the last of the zucchini and summer squash will be harvested to make room for cold loving vegetables.
As a farewell to summer, I decided to take some late season corn from our CSA, and my last cucumber and tomatoes to make one last batch of a delicious corn salad I've enjoyed several times this summer.
This is a fantastic dish to make ahead of time, chill, and enjoy the next day as the corn, cucumber and tomatoes will hold up in a vinaigrette, soaking in all the great flavors. Before serving, I like to add fresh basil, feta cheese and or avocado. Because I planned to bring this batch into the yoga studio today to share with my fellow yoga teacher trainees, many whom are vegans, I omitted mixing in feta. But regardless of your dietary preferences, this recipe is a crowd-pleaser.
- 4 ears of corn
- 1 cucumber
- 1 pint of garden tomatoes
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- bunch of fresh basil
- 2 limes (or lemons)
- 1 tbs white balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1tsp coconut sugar (or honey if not vegan)
- Himalayan salt and pepper (to taste)
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 1/4 cup of crumbled feta cheese (omit if you'd like the recipe to be vegan)
- Fill large pot with 2-3 inches of water; insert steamer basket and cover until water begins to boil.
- Meanwhile, peal all the husks off of the corn
- When water is ready, place the ears of corn in the steamer, covered for about 4 minutes
- While corn steams, prepare dressing. In large bowl, add juice of 2 limes, 1 tbs white balsamic vinegar, 2 tbs of extra virgin olive, diced shallot, a tsp of coconut sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk to emulsify. If you need to, add in additional olive oil.
- When corn is ready, remove from steamer and place in a bath of cold water to cool.
- Dice cucumbers and tomatoes and add to the bowl with the dressing.
- Once the corn is cool enough to handle, cut the corn off of the cob and add it to the other vegetables.
- Toss all of the vegetables so that the dressing evenly coats everything.
- If you wont be enjoying the salad immediately, you can refrigerate.
- Before serving, add fresh chopped basil, cubed avocado and feta. Toss again to evenly incorporate.
If serving as a meal, I recommend 1 ear of corn per person. So if you have more than 4 people, you may need to increase the amount of cucumbers, tomatoes, and dressing as needed.