This recipe is super flexible and open to adaptation. You can add radishes or white beans. Fold in almost-stale bread (I like homemade garlic croutons) for panzanella. Add avocado or a medley of your favorite summertime herbs. It’s a simple salad, so the better the produce, olive oil, and salt, the better the salad will taste. It also makes excellent picnic fare: Because it’s best prepared a bit ahead, the flavors are given time to meld. Feel free to scale up; I often do.
I pair it with everything. I have been known to drink the tomatoey-vinaigrette that collects at the bottom of the bowl. It’s that good. —Cristina Sciarra
Test Kitchen Notes
A pleasant salad with a nice, bright dressing, though the 1:1:1 onion-tomato-corn leads to predictably strong results! —mitschlag
Set out a large mixing bowl. Mince the garlic and thinly slice the red onion; move them to the bowl. Add the lemon juice and zest and both vinegars. Spoon the liquid over the onion and garlic to coat so that their harshness starts to mellow.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a vigorous simmer. Remove the husk from the corn. Boil the corn for 1 to 3 minutes, depending on how deep you are into corn season. (Very fresh corn barely needs to be cooked at all.) Remove the corn from the water, and run it briefly under the tap, until it is cool enough to handle. Cut the kernels from the cob, and scoop them into the mixing bowl.
Dice the tomato or cut the cherry tomatoes into halves. Cut the cucumber into thin half moons. Add both to the bowl. Pour in the olive oil. Mince the chives and chiffonade the basil and then add those, too. Finish by adding the salt and black pepper. Give everything a generous stir, and then allow the salad to sit for 5 minutes; taste it, and add more olive oil, salt, and pepper if needed. If you have time, allow the salad to sit for another 20 to 30 minutes. Serve with plenty of good bread, to mop up all the juices.
Cristina is a writer, cook, and day job real estate developer. She studied literature, holds an MFA in Fiction Writing, and completed the Basic Cuisine course at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She lives in Jersey City with her husband--a Frenchman she met in Spain--and their sweet black cat, Minou. Follow her writings, recipes, publications and photography at theroamingkitchen.com.