Summer has always been my favorite season. Lazy weekends at the beach, barbecue a few times a week, dresses, sandals, my birthday. These things, of course, are eternal. When I was a kid, my favorite part was eight weeks of camp, of taking “shortcuts” that took actually longer, of skipping stones at the lake, of giggling as we dialed 1-800 numbers on pay phones, of endless items made in ceramics. Now that I’m an adult, I’d still love to do those things (well, maybe not the phone part), but I also get pleasure out of things that my ice-cream-sandwich-toting kid self would have found appalling: summer vegetables.
Kid self, you were missing out. Cherry tomatoes and corn in August are arguably sweeter than any ice cream treat, and they come with the added bonus of vitamins and fiber and all the things you need to worry about once you’re old. Luckily, they barely need anything done to them. This works brilliantly with the fact that it’s too hot to really want to cook anything.
This is spicy-sweet summer in a bowl. It takes almost no time to put together and goes with basically anything, hence the name “saladslaw.” If you do not live in a teeny apartment without even a terrace/fire escape to illegally grill on, I strongly recommend grilling the corn–this dish is already good with frozen corn, but will likely be practically candy sweet if you grill the corn.
Summer Corn and Tomato Saladslaw (serves 4)
2 cups corn kernels, grilled from fresh or defrosted from frozen
1 generous cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoons sriracha or other hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried basil or a few leaves fresh basil, slivered
salt and pepper to taste
Pour enough olive oil into a large saute pan to easily coat the bottom and heat over medium-high heat. When hot, add garlic and cook 30 seconds, stirring, then add red pepper flakes and cook another 30 seconds. Add corn, sriracha, dried basil, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Let cook 2 minutes to caramelize the corn a bit, then add tomatoes and cook one more minute. Pour into serving bowl and add fresh basil if using, stirring to combine. Follow up with an ice cream sandwich, because you’re never too old for those.