A-maize-ing saladPublished 10:55am Thursday, August 21, 2014
I’m absolutely loving the fact that it’s corn season right now. I think I’ve been putting fresh, local corn in just about every dish possible for the past month. If you’re like me, you’re doing the same thing.
There are so many great ways to take advantage to this sweet and hardy local delicacy. Obviously you can grill, roast or boil and simply eat it off the cob, but one of my favorite things to do with corn is to cut it from the cob and use it in salads.
A few years ago when I was a vendor at the St. Joseph Farmers Market, I needed another packaged salad to sell the night before the market. I looked in our kitchen’s fridge to see what I could whip together, and the random concoction of seasonal produce ended up being one of the most popular items in our menu for the next couple years.
This dish has a nice color array, and everything in it aside from the quinoa can be found at your local farmers market or stand.
If you don’t have quinoa, just use couscous, pasta, or millet instead. It’s just a salad! This one is perfect for those last beach or boating days before summer winds up.
Super Spicy Corn and Quinoa Salad
Yield: about 10 cups, 8 servings
4 ears of local sweet corn cut from the cob and lightly cooked
2 cups dried quinoa
4 cups vegetable stock
1 ½ large zucchinis (about 3 cups chopped)
2 cups kidney beans (1 16 ounce can rinsed and drained)
½ cup red onion, finely chopped
½ cup fresh basil, chopped
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
½ tablespoon dried onion
Red Pepper Vinaigrette
4 ounces extra virgin olive oil
1 ounce white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons whole grain prepared mustard
2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes (cut down to 1 tablespoon to make less spicy)
Cracked black pepper to taste
Sea salt to taste (about ½- ¾ teaspoon)
1. Thoroughly rinse the quinoa in a wire mesh strainer. In a small sauce pan, bring the vegetable stock and quinoa to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer about 12-15 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is plump. Remove from heat and let cool.
2. Meanwhile, prep the veggies and fresh herbs.
3. In a jar or salad shaker, combine dressing ingredients until fully emulsified.
4. Toss all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Cover and let chill for a few hours or overnight before serving.
Kat Barry, a St. Joseph, Michigan native, is owner of Kat’s Hot Cakes vegan catering, and co author of “The New Chicago Diner Cookbook: Meat Free Recipes from America’s Veggie Diner.” She also develops recipes for eHow.com, where you can find over 30 of her vegan instructional cooking videos. She is also a certified yoga instructor. Kat currently resides in Chicago, and in her free time she enjoys practicing yoga, sampling local spirits, listening to live music, and getting outdoors. Follow @katshotcakes on twitter. Kat can be reached via email at: email@example.com.