September 01, 2010

Summer Cornucopia: Heirloom Tomato and Grilled Corn Salad with Marjoram

The dog days of summer are here, and as hot sultry August becomes September, the hot days are redeemed by the abundance of the season.  Although shrink-wrapped corn is available year round, it's only now that I want to buy the crunchy, milky ears.  And while it's dead simple to boil an ear or two and douse them with butter and salt, these beauties deserve a gourmet treatment.

Paired with über ripe heirloom tomatoes, dabs of lemony scented sheep's milk cheese and fresh marjoram, this salad is super easy and addictive.

Tomato and Grilled Corn Salad with Marjoram
serves four

4 large leaves butter lettuce
3 ears of corn, silk and husks removed
1 dozen heirloom cherry tomatoes
2-3 medium heirloom tomatoes; choose red, orange, yellow
¼ c olive oil
½ tbsp sherry vinegar
½ tsp fine sea salt, more to taste
Coarse black pepper to taste
⅛ c chopped fresh marjoram, plus a sprig or two for garnish
½ c soft sheep or goat milk cheese (I used Blossom from Monforte Dairy; if you can find a soft cheese with lemon zest, try it - it will give your salad a subtle zing)

1.  Line a platter with the lettuce leaves and set aside.

2.  Grill the ears of corn until they are lightly charred.  Cool, cut the kernels off and place in a medium bowl.

3.  Add the cherry tomatoes, cutting the larger ones in two, and add to the corn.  Add half the olive oil, sherry vinegar, salt and pepper and toss lightly to combine.  Spread the mixture over the platter.

4.  Slice the larger heirloom tomatoes and place them on top of the tomato-corn mixture.  Dab the cheese on top, drizzle the remaining olive oil over the platter, and sprinkle a bit more salt on top of the sliced tomatoes.  Garnish with marjoram sprigs and serve.

Summer never tasted so good