Grilling season is going full-bore and Im out barbecuing almost every day while I still can. Unfortunately I always seem to end up with coals so hot that theyll turn the surface of any meat into carbon before the middle is cooked.
Luckily, the right-out-of-the-chimney coals are the perfect temperature to char-grill corn, peppers and eggplant. Thats why I always keep some of these vegetables on hand to grill while I wait for the coals to cool off enough so I can cook my protein without scorching it.
In this salad, the char-grilled corn is accentuated by the smoky pimentón, and the toasted pine nuts add texture and richness to the salad. It makes for the perfect accompaniment to grilled meats and fish, but you could also serve this on top of a mound of greens, or in a taco.
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (halve if using regular salt)
1/2 teaspoon pimentón (smoked paprika)
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (to taste)
2 tablespoons minced shallots
Husk and clean any dangling hairs off the corn, then brush lightly with olive oil. Heat your barbecue or broiler until very hot, then grill the corn until you have a light char all the way around each ear. Let the corn cool enough to handle, then cut the kernels off each cob into a bowl.
Put the cherry tomatoes in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil until coated, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Lay the cherry tomatoes in a single layer on a sheet pan and roast in a 250 degree oven for about an hour, or until they are shriveled and sweet.
In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt, pimentón, mustard, and Tabasco until the mixture is emulsified (the oil and liquid is combined). Add the shallots and stir to combine.
Add the roasted cherry tomatoes to the corn, then add the toasted pine nuts, capers, parsley, sage, thyme, and pour the dressing over everything. Toss to combine, taste the salad, then adjust the salt and pepper to taste.
Yield: 6-8 servings
Marc Matsumoto is a culinary consultant and recipe repairman who shares his passion for good food through his website norecipes.com. For Marc, food is a life long journey of exploration, discovery and experimentation and he shares his escapades through his blog in the hopes that he inspires others to find their own culinary adventures. Marcs been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and has made multiple appearances on NPR and the Food Network.