Some ingredients are just indissociable from summer; corn and tomatoes are two such ingredients. When fresh corn and ripe tomatoes are at their peak, it can seem like blasphemy to do anything to change them… but trust us: this pan-roasted corn and tomato salad recipe offers just enough modification to bring out the best in both.
When choosing the ingredients for this side salad dish — perfectly paired with light grilled fish or poultry — bear in mind, as always, the quality of your ingredients. Pick ripe, juicy tomatoes which will help hydrate the dish, and be sure to use organic corn. Several sweet corn varieties sold in the U.S. are genetically modified, so pay close attention to source this ingredient organically, and you’ll be rewarded in flavor.
This dish can be made with fresh corn, but it’s particularly ideal for using up leftover cooked corn on the cob. Cut the kernels off the cob, and you’re halfway there.
Pan-Roasted Corn and Tomato Salad Recipe (serves 2)
Heat a dry skillet (not nonstick) over high heat. Add the corn and allow to cook, without stirring, about 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes into bite-sized pieces. Toss with the olive oil and minced garlic, and allow to macerate while the corn cooks.
When the corn begins to brown slightly, begin stirring it. Some of the starch from the corn should release and stick to the bottom of the pan. This is a good sign, but pay close attention to ensure that this doesn’t brown, reducing the heat if necessary.
When the corn pieces have barely begun to brown and you smell a roasting smell, after about 5 minutes total of cooking, add the tomatoes to the pan along with their juices. Reduce the heat. Depending on the juiciness of your tomatoes, you may also need to add a touch of water.
Use a wooden spoon to bring the fond up off the bottom of the pan and into the sauce. Continue cooking until the tomatoes are cooked through and the sauce has reduced by about half. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.
Serve the side topped with a chiffonade of fresh basil. Great side for grilled fish.