Randolph County Herald Tribune - Chester, IL
  • Beginner's Box: Corn salad a winner

  • An easy recipe for a picnic.

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  • Great -- an invitation to a picnic!
    Uh, oh. The invitation includes a request to bring a salad. Beginning cooks dread the potluck and the inevitable, “Who brought this?”
    Salads are particularly troublesome, especially in summer. The easiest -- a tossed salad -- wilts quickly on a hot day.
    Enter the corn salad. Crisp, flavorful kernels harmonize beautifully with other summer produce, such as bell peppers and tomatoes. A light vinaigrette, either bottled or homemade, melds the vegetables into a pleasing whole. For zing, add a dash of hot sauce.
    Quick and easy, yet the results are so that everyone at the picnic will be asking, “Who brought this?” followed by, “Can I have the recipe?”
    Contact Saimi Bergmann at saimi.bergmann@cantonrep.com.
    16-ounce bag frozen corn
    1/2 green bell pepper, chopped into bite-sized pieces
    1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
    1 medium tomato, chopped into bite sized pieces
    Bottled Italian dressing, vinaigrette, or make your own*
    3 or 4 drops hot sauce, optional
    First, put frozen corn and enough water in a pan to cover the corn. Bring to a boil, then immediately drain. Rinse with cold water to chill the corn and drain again.
    In a bowl, mix the corn with the pepper, onion and tomato. Pour on enough dressing to coat but not be soupy (up to 1/2 cup) and hot sauce and stir.
    Chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.
    *Making your own light, lovely dressing is ridiculously simple. In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup olive oil, 3 tablespoons of vinegar (Not balsamic, it discolors the corn. I used white wine vinegar.), a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar. Stir hard with fork or whisk until it emulsifies, which means the oil and vinegar bind together, becoming almost creamy.
    Note: Don’t be confined by this recipe. Experiment with different vegetables and different dressings. Change the red onion to scallions. Add chopped celery. Substitute orange pepper for the green.

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