You may be surprised to see a salad recipe posted during a week devoted to the food of an soon-to-be college freshman boy. And hey, nobody is more surprised than me. But some strange scientifically-yet-to-be proven phenomenon happens to 17 year-old boys in which all of the foods that they formerly hated, suddenly become foods they love and crave. Now, granted my study pool is not large (I've only been through this once before) but I bet there are tons of other moms out there right now, going through this very same startling but welcome experience. Hence, this salad, this week!
I don't think I can properly explain how strange it is to have kids who would never touch anything green, suddenly request things like arugula and avocados and I would like to say that we (my husband and I) did everything right, you know, like making them try things at least 15 times and never making 5 different dinners to meet everyone's likes/dislikes on the same night or never just letting them eat pizza 3-4 times a week, but the truth is that we did everything wrong, which leaves my husband I scratching our heads and wondering, "Where did we go right?!!" Which goes to show you, that it all works out in the end--no worries!
Now back to this salad--other than soaking the corn and roasting it, there's really not much work here.
You cut up tomatoes, avocado, fresh mozzarella and fresh parsley--
Then, along with the roasted corn, you toss them together with a light, summery, lemony vinaigrette--
And mound the whole thing on a bed of baby arugula, topped with a bit more of that delicious dressing. Each bite is full of the sweetness of corn, the tartness of tomatoes, and the mellow creaminess of fresh mozzarella and avocado. It's perfect for a light summer dinner with a piece of good crusty bread and equally wonderful to have the next day for a quick lunch.
And all because a boy is going off to college...
Roasted Corn, Avocado, Tomato and Fresh Mozzarella Salad
Serves 4-6 people depending on whether you're using it as a main course or side dish
Prep Time: 45 minutes (only 20 minutes active)
For the Vinaigrette
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
For the Salad
4 ears fresh corn, left in the husk
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, cubed
2 ripe avocados, halved, peeled and cubed
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Baby arugula or any other lettuce you prefer
1. To make the vinaigrette: Into a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, lemon zest and juice and parsley. Slowly stream in the olive oil, whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Meanwhile, soak the corn in the husk in a large pot filled with cold water for 10-15 minutes. Then place on a a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes, until the kernels are tender. Remove from the oven and let cool long enough to pull of off husks and silks. Carefully cut kernels off the cobs and place into a large bowl.
3. Into the bowl, add the mozzarella, avocados, tomatoes, parsley, and salt and pepper. Stir gently, so as not to smash the avocado. Then pour about 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette over the mixture and toss gently again. Place the arugula (or other salad) onto plates and top with a generous scoop of the corn salad. Drizzle on a bit more of the vinaigrette and more salt and pepper if necessary. Serve immediately.
4. Leftover salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 days. Leftover dressing can be stored refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Note: Recipe adapted from Fresh Every Day by Sara Foster. I fiddled with a lot of the proportions here and omitted the basil, because I had forgotten to buy it and the oregano cause my son doesn't like it. It would be good with the basil though. You can add it to both the vinaigrette and the salad as well.