*TOMATO CORN SALAD*
_Note that the dressing should be started well ahead of serving, to allow the shallots to mellow in the vinegar._
2 small to medium shallots, minced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar, or more as needed
1 garlic clove, grated on a Microplane
4 or 5 fresh basil leaves, smashed a bit between your fingers
1/2 cup olive oil
Good tomatoes, sliced
Fresh corn, cut from the cob
Fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
In a small bowl, combine the shallots, vinegar, garlic, and a pinch of salt. The vinegar should just cover the shallots; if it doesn’t, add a splash more. Let sit at room temperature for an hour or more, until the shallots have given up their raw flavor. Then add the basil leaves and olive oil, and whisk well. Taste, and add salt as needed. If the shallots are too strong or bitter, you can fix that with a pinch or two of sugar. Set dressing aside at room temperature, ideally for at least 30 minutes, to allow the basil to release its fragrance. Remove the basil before serving.
Arrange some sliced tomatoes on a platter, and top with corn kernels (about 1 ear of corn for every 2 or 3 tomatoes). Spoon dressing generously over. Garnish with thinly sliced fresh basil.
*SPICY SAUTEED CORN*
3 tablespoons butter
Kernels from 3 ears fresh corn
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 jalapeÃ±o pepper, seeds removed if desired, minced
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high until bubbling. Add the corn, scallions, and jalapeÃ±o. Cook until the corn begins to brown and stick to the bottom of the pan, about 10 minutes, lowering the heat if necessary. Add water and scrub the bottom of the pan with the spatula to dislodge the extremely delicious brown bits. When the water has boiled off, add salt to taste. Off the heat, add lime juice and serve immediately with additional lime wedges.
Yield: 4 side-dish servings