Saturday, August 23, 2008

Beet-Corn Confetti Salad

Today I am in Litchfield, Conn. discovering the local goodies. I set off on my bike this morning and found an impressive farmers market in the parking lot of the town's high school. Sometimes I'm moved to pick my produce in terms of pleasing color combinations, so today I went for purple, yellow and green: beets, corn and basil.

This simple salad is great served with brown rice and a sprinkling of goat cheese - or, as my mom discovered, cottage cheese.

- 4-5 medium sized beets
- 2 ears of sweet corn
- 10 large basil leaves
- 2 tbsp EVOO
- coarsely ground pepper
- finishing salt (I like fleur de sel)

1. I like the easy, dry-roasting method of cooking beets, which works well when you are dealing with a small amount. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Simply chop off the beet greens, place the beets on a piece of tinfoil, add a scootch (precise measurement, folks) of olive oil, and a couple of crushed garlic cloves if you like, and fold the ends of the tinfoil up and together to create a neat little pouch. Bake about 45 minutes, or until a knife easily slides into the beets. When done, remove from the oven, open the pouch, and allow to cool before sliding them out of the peel and chopping into bite-sized pieces.

2. Meanwhile, cook the two ears of corn. Since ears fit awkwardly into smaller pots, and bigger pots of water will end up using an excessive amount of energy to bring to boil, just stick the shucked ears into a baking dish, add a tablespoon or two of water, cover with plastic wrap, and nuke for 4 minutes (2 per ear). You may need to turn the ears and microwave for another minute after. But this method gets the corn perfectly tender. Let the ears cool and cut the corn off the cob.

3. Now sliver your basil leaves, and toss with the beets and corn. Add olive oil, pepper and salt, and enjoy naked or with the above-mentioned accoutrements.

** Shout out to my beloved cooking buddy, Sally, who introduced me to the excellent beet and basil combo. Good luck in SF!! I'll miss our kitchen adventures muchly.

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