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Author Notes: This summer salad is about appreciating tomatoes in all different shapes, sizes, and flavors. Slicing the tomatoes into different shapes brings variety to this simple dish. Grilled corn compliments the tomatoes while still allowing their delicate flavors to shine. The Alderwood smoked salt reminds me of flavors that come from cooking with a charcoal grill. Using a delicate touch with this salt results in a lingering hint of smokiness, which is just what you want. A soft, crumbly queso fresco (fresh cow’s milk cheese) plays nicely against the acidic tomatoes and crunchy corn. The only thing left to add is a light dressing with lime vinaigrette. The floral aroma of lime is really nice and a lovely compliment to the smoky flavors in this salad.
For the Salad
- 3 ears of corn
- 2 large heirloom tomatoes, about 1 pound total
- 1 pound smaller tomatoes, such as the zebra variety
- 4 ounces queso fresco
- 4 scallions, sliced thin
- 1 lime, zest only
- alderwood smoked salt
For the vinaigrette
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 pinch sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Grill the Corn: Heat a grill to medium-high. Rub the ears of corn with a little olive oil and place them on the hot grill, covering with the lid. Cook the corn for about 10 minutes, turning every 2 minutes. You want some charring on the corn for flavor and color. Remove the corn from the grill and set aside to cool while you prep the rest of the salad.
- Compose the Salad: Wash and dry the tomatoes. Cut the large tomatoes into big flat slices, horizontally (a serrated knife is best for cutting tomatoes). Cut the small tomatoes into wedges. I like a variety of textures and shapes in this salad. Place the tomato slices on a platter and artistically arrange the wedges. Take the cooled corn and cut it off the cob. Sprinkle the corn over the tomatoes on the platter. Crumble the queso fresco and arrange it over the tomatoes and corn. Toss scallions on top of the salad. Zest the lime over the salad.
- Make the Vinaigrette: Pour the lime juice with a sprinkling of regular salt and pepper into a small bowl. Drizzle in olive oil while whisking continuously to emulsify. Stop occasionally to taste the vinaigrette. Is it too acidic? Add more olive oil. Is the vinaigrette well balanced with lime and olive oil? Stop. It’s finished! Drizzle the lime vinaigrette over the tomato and corn salad. Finish by sprinkling smoked salt over the salad. It’s ready to serve.
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