Sunday, September 6, 2009

Summer Corn Salad

Sheila Lukins may be gracing your cookbook library and you may not even know it. She's one of the co-authors of The Silver Palate series of cookbooks that she wrote with Julee Rosso. These cookbooks are unmistakable since their popular red and white covers can be found at any bookstore. In addition to The Silver Palate cookbook series, both Shiela and Julee opened up a retail store bearing the same name, a popular gourmet food store in New York. The store has now since been sold to new owners but you can still find their gourmet products floating around since the name hasn't changed. How else may you have come across Shiela? She was also the food editor and columnist of Parade magazine - the same magazine and position that Julia Child once had. Sadly, Shiela Lutkins passed away recently due to brain cancer. Farewell Sheila Lutkins... thank you for your contribution to the culinary world and you will be missed.

In honor of Shiela's work, I made this adapted recipe from her Celebrate! cookbook. This captures the colors and flavors of summer with a cumin-honey vinaigrette. It went perfectly well as a side dish for a BBQ inspired dinner I prepared for friends.

Summer Corn Salad
recipe adapted from Shiela Lukins, Celebrate! cookbook

4 cups fresh or canned corn kernels
1 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise, seeded & diced
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup cumin honey vinaigrette (recipe follows)

If using fresh corn: Bring a saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add the corn kernels into the pot and cook until just about tender (approximately 1 minute). Drain the corn into a colander and run them under cold water to stop the cooking. Drain again and pat dry.

If using canned corn: Drain the corn into a colander, run them under cold water and pat dry.

Combine the corn, zucchini, tomatoes and parsley in a large bowl and toss to combine. Season with pepper.

Just before serving, toss the salad with the vinaigrette.

Cumin Honey Vinaigrette
recipe adapted from Shiela Lutkins, Celebrate! cookbook

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Whisk the vinegar, cumin, mustard, honey and salt/pepper in a bowl. Whisking constantly, drizzle in the olive oil. Continue whisking until the dressing is slightly thickened. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before using and re-whisk if necessary.