No better way to usher in summer and salads and all things light and refreshing than to do it with this Mexican tomato and corn salad which is quite possibly the tastiest little veggie-salad-side dish to make it’s way to our summer spread.
A simple medley of sauteed corn, fresh tomatoes, cilantro and crumbled queso fresco cheese – this lovely side dish gets a heaping dose of refreshing help from a simple lime vinaigrette which takes the tomato and corn salad to a whole new level.
My once tomato-hating kids were grabbing at this salad right and left when I served it for dinner with burritos. I had to swallow my annoyance that years of dealing with pain and agony and gagging and vomitous noises over tomatoes-at-dinner were suddenly erased – all on the one night when I was trying to enjoy one of the most delicious (not to mention healthy!) side dish salads of the year.
I don’t know what won them over – the zesty lime dressing or the cheese but they were gobbling this up right and left, tomatoes and all. Of course I had gone into dinner expecting that the majority of the salad would be mine (selfish, yes, I admit it) but my begrudging pride at their newfound love of tomatoes caused me to share. Of course, the next week when I doubled it, expecting the same response, they wouldn’t touch it.
Fickle! Ah well, it definitely left more for me to enjoy all week.
A perfect accompaniment to nearly any grilled summer meal, I can’t wait to make this over and over (and hope that maybe my kids will fall in love with it again).
Mexican Tomato and Corn Salad
For the salad:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
- 2 cups halved grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup crumbled queso fresco cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- Salt, pepper and sugar to taste
For the dressing:
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated lime zest (zest the lime(s) before juicing)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (from about 3 garlic cloves)
- In a large skillet, heat the 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Stir in the corn and cook until soft (but not mushy), 3-5 minutes, stirring/tossing occasionally. Cool corn slightly and set aside.
- Whisk together the lime zest, lime juice, vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil and garlic in a small bowl.
- In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, cheese, cilantro and corn. Toss the salad with the vinaigrette and season with salt, pepper and sugar to taste.
Queso fresco cheese is a widely available Mexican cheese usually found in most supermarkets by the other cheeses – it is usually in a round, thick disc. If you can’t find it or don’t like it, feta cheese would make a unique and delicious substitution.
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Recipe Source: adapted from Cuisine at Home, April 2012