I want to begin with an apology to my 8 year old self for this post because I’m breaking a BIG commandment with myself.
Thou shall NOT cut corn OFF the cob…ever.
My kid self would be appalled. I mean…WHY would anyone ever cut corn OFF of the cob. They are taking ALL of the fun out of eating corn.
When I was little and we had corn on the cob for dinner, it felt like a holiday. I would ask for more corn over a slice of pie any day. Weird child, I know. There was also a period in my young life when I think I didn’t have front teeth for over a year, but continued to gnaw down ear after ear of corn, while projecting kernel after kernel into the air in front of me like a machine gun.
Plus, when I was a kid and corn wasn’t on a cob, that it meant it came in a can…*shudder*. I haaaate canned corn. Sorry to all you canned corn eaters. But if you have ever had FRESH FRESH FRESH corn straight from the cob, it will change your life. So I feel like my childhood self might forgive me if she had ever had fresh corn directly from the farm. To satisfy my inner child, I bought 12 ears so that most of them could be eaten directly from the cob.
A lesson in cutting corn from the cob. Place the cob slightly angled up and down OVER a bowl. Cut the kernels off with the blade of the knife pointed awaaaay from you, allowing the kernels to fall lovingly into the bowl. Otherwise, your kernels will catapult off of a plate onto the ground. We can’t let those kernels go to waste! All kernels need a home…a.k.a my belly!
Next thing about this salad is that it is a substantial and gluten free feast. It has quinoa which is a super food, or so I’ve been told. I love that bit of crunch that the cooled quinoa and fresh corn provide to this lush herby and fresh salad. It’s perfect for a gluten free and vegetarian option at a picnic lunch or a cool weeknight meal. You can make the quinoa ahead of time and just throw everything together prior to serving. Easy peasy. It also would be good with some grilled chicken on top, for those meat lovers like my dear hubby.
P.S. One or two or three things about the dressing! It is VERY good….like hide in a closet and drink it good. I was going for a type of green goddess style of herbaciousness. Feel free to mix up the herbs…cilantro, mint, tarragon, basil..whatevs. If you don’t have yogurt on hand, I think half an avocado would do well in this dressing. Aaaaand if you don’t have yogurt OR an avocado, throw in some soaked and drained nuts or sunflower seeds instead and give them a whirl in the food processor. You will just need to add water to make it the desired consistency.
Fresh Corn, Tomato, and Quinoa Salad (gluten free)
- 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained (I used mixed quinoa, but any color would work here)
- 2 ears of fresh corn, kernels removed from cob (about 2 cups)
- 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, cut in half (I also added a big heirloom tomato because I loooove tomatoes)
- 1 sweet bell pepper, thinly chopped
- 1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
- 2 cups of assorted greens (spinach, baby kale)
- feta crumbles
- Fresh basil and cilantro
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/3 fresh basil and cilantro
- 1/4 cup fresh chives
- Juice of 2 limes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons greek yogurt
- pinch of salt
- Place rinsed quinoa and 1 cup of water in a small pot over medium heat. Allow to come to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until water is fully absorbed. Remove quinoa from heat. Place cooked quinoa in a covered dish and refrigerate until cooled. Can be made several days ahead of time.
- In a medium bowl combine corn kernels, halved cherry tomatoes, carrot, sweet bell pepper, and greens.
- In a small food processor, add all dressing ingredients and process until desired consistency is achieved. Place dressing in a jar and refrigerate until ready to use.
- After the quinoa is cooled, add the quinoa and the dressing to the corn and tomato salad. Toss well. Sprinkle with feta, additional basil and cilantro. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.