Stone Fruit Salad

I’ve been keeping a mental list of the millions of things I love about summer. Besides the weather, happy people everywhere, and endless activities, one thing I have been appreciating lately is the changing availability of fruits and vegetables. After a long winter of squash and potatoes, a new fruit or vegetable comes into season each week during the summer! One week we have asparagus, the next I’m buying cherries by the bushel. It’s pretty neat and the limitless variety keeps me both inspired and eager to eat.

Stone Fruit Salad

So here we are in stone fruit season with yet another salad. I mean, who cooks in the summer? Mostly I crave big bowls of lettuce simply dressed with olive oil and lemon juice, but every once in a while, I’ll get fancy and make my salad something special.

Stone Fruit Salad (5)

Now, I don’t usually eat salads with balsamic vinegar. Maybe it was over done in the early aughts, but I just do not care much for it. With stone fruits, however, this yogurt balsamic works perfectly over their acidic sweetness. Top it with sweet corn and jicama, and you have the perfect mid-summer salad.

Stone Fruit Salad (1)

 

Stone Fruit Salad with Sweet Corn, Jicama, and Yogurt-Balsamic

*Vary the amounts of each based on your preference. The dressing recipe yields a big batch; store leftover in the fridge if needed.

arugula
nectarine, sliced thinly

peach, sliced thinly
plum, sliced thinly
cherries, halved
jicama, peeled and julienned
sweet corn, shucked

1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon maple syrup
juice of half a lemon
1 garlic clove, smashed in a mortar and pestle with a pinch of salt
salt and pepper, to taste

Cook the sweet corn using your favorite method. I just boil the cobs for about 5 minutes. Let them cool, then cut the corn off the cob. Layer the vegetables and fruit in a salad bowl or on a plate.

For the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a large mason jar or bowl. Shake/whisk to combine. Pour over the salad and eat!

 

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Elote, aka Mexican Corn on the Cob

There is a very sweet woman who sells tamales out of a cooler close to my apartment. She has a food cart, despite the crazy Chicago food cart rules (the food cannot be cooked in the cart), and the tamales are huge. I often pick up a few for dinner on my way home from work. Last time I was there, someone else ordered elote – an offering I didn’t know she served. It looked delicious, so when I saw sweet corn at the farmer’s market this past Sunday, I knew I would be making this Mexican specialty.

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I have never made elote before, and I didn’t even bother to look up a recipe. I just decided to “wing it” based on what I saw my tamale lady throwing together. I’m not sure how traditional this is, but Eric certainly gobbled it right up. And it’s so simple and easy. I did not have any parsley or cilantro on hand, but I imagine this would be even better with some fresh herbs mixed in. Instead, I topped it with some cilantro pesto I made recently – that satisfied my need for fresh herbiness (yes, herbiness). I also decided to cut the corn off the cob since I don’t particularly enjoy eating corn on the cob, but you can certainly prepare this on the cob as well.

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Elotes, aka Mexican Sweet Corn

inspired by the tamale lady, who I’ve since learned calls her stand Elotes. Genius.

3 cobs fresh sweet corn
1/4 cup cotija cheese, or other fresh Mexican cheese
1 tablespoon mayonnaise (if I had it, I would have preferred to use a Mexican crema, sour cream, crème fraiche, or even greek yogurt)
1 teaspoon butter
juice of one lime
salt and pepper

Boil corn in a pot of salted water for a few minutes, until tender. Using a sharp chef’s knife, scrape the corn kernels from the cob. In a mixing bowl, combine with the rest of ingredients. For variation, try adding parsley, cilantro, or another fresh herb.