Warm Corn Tarragon Salad

This will be another one of those posts that show how woefully behind I am in blogging, but on the bright side, it’s mid-winter and probably cold or raining (if you’re out here on the West Coast) so it’s a nice break to revisit early fall with its summery climes. Well, at least it is for me. šŸ™‚

If I can give myself a hearty pat on the back, I think this is one of those dishes that perfectly captures summer in one bite. It’s in part due to the ingredients: fresh corn off the cob and sweet, juicy sungold cherry tomatoes which are at the peak of season. It’s in part due to the colors: sunny yellow, bright orange, and lightly purple shalot with flecks of herbal green mirror the gorgeous hues of a dinner time sunset. But it’s mostly the flavors and textures: sweet, slightly milky corn with heat from a jalapeƱo; additional sweetness with an undercurrent of acid from the juicy tomatoes; salty crunch from the bacon; and crisp, bright licorice notes from the tarragon which tie everything together into a refreshing salad. I’m starting to think that even the idea of this dish has magical powers as the sun has managed to burst through the grey rain clouds as I’ve written this. Perhaps a sign that you should give this a try?

  • 3 ears of yellow corn
  • 3 strips thick cut, uncured bacon
  • 1 medium shalot, thinly sliced
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeƱo, minced
  • 1/2 pint sungold cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 tbsp fresh tarragon
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

In a medium skillet, cook the bacon until crisp. Cool on paper towel lined plate then crumble the bacon into pieces.

While the bacon cooks, strip the kernels off the ears of corn. (Easy way is to place a small bowl, bottom side up inside a large bowl then standing the ear upright on the small bowl and running the knife along the ear from top to bottom so that the large bowl catches the kernels as they fall away. Be sure to run the non-sharp edge of the blade along the empty husk to exude some of the milky corn liquid too.)

In a large skillet, heat about 2 tsp olive oil over medium heat and gently cook the shalot, garlic and jalapeƱo. You’re looking to sweat the vegetables to bring out some sweetness but don’t brown them so watch your heat and stir often. When those vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes, add the corn and tomatoes so that the corn and tomato heat through. You’ll know when the tomatoes have softened a little and are juicy. Season lightly with salt and pepper then toss in the bacon crumbles and about 1.5 tbsp of tarragon. Plate and sprinkle the top with the rest of the tarragon as garnish.

CSA Count: 5

Corn, shalot, garlic, jalapeƱo, sungold tomatoes

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