End of the Summer Salads

The weather is officially cooling off and I’ve surrendered to fall, willingly. I’m ready for crisp air, sweaters, apples and foliage. I readily welcomed the opening of Ganso, a new ramen restaurant in Downtown Brooklyn, and found myself happily slurping noodles in steamy bowls of hot and spicy broth last night. I’ve planned a trip to Vermont next weekend to get my full, fall flavor on. But our CSA is helping me hang on to that summer feeling, delivering the end-of-the-summer bounty of corn, zucchini and squash, radishes and tomatoes. So, thankfully, I get a little bit of the best of both seasons, in this sometimes jarring, but more often lovely, transition from summer to fall.

Eating corn on the cob is such a treat in the summer (and it’s obviously quick and easy), so I love to eat corn that way for as long as I can. Variety being the spice of life, however, I also love corn soup and corn salads, with anything from avocado, peach and red onion, to black beans and tomatoes. Lately, I’ve been simmering corn kernels in a few cups of white wine with a generous amount of thyme for just a few minutes, draining the corn, tossing it with salt, pepper and sunflower seeds, and eating it as is or on top of a salad for an amazingly fast and desk-friendly dish. The corn tastes almost buttery with the white wine, and the thyme pairs perfectly with the acidic wine and sweet corn.

I’ve also been enjoying trying bok choy in different ways. I’m used to simply stir-frying this leafy, Chinese cabbage, but yesterday I tried it raw, tossed in a salad of julienned yellow squash, radish and cucumber, with a light vinaigrette of dijon mustard, lemon juice and a dab of light mayonnaise. It made a great side salad to some homemade turkey burgers, and a great lunch, topped with my white wine simmered corn!

For the recipes to these end of the summer salads and what to cook next

White Wine Simmered Corn With Fresh Thyme
(4 servings)

4 ears of corn
1 1/3 cup white wine
2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves, plus 1 or 2 sprigs to be removed when serving
Salt & Pepper
1/4 cup sunflower seeds

– cut corn kernels off ears into a large skillet
– sprinkle thyme over the corn and stick in the thyme springs
– pour wine over to corn and simmer on low for about 5 minutes
– when corn is bright yellow and soft but not mushy, remove from heat and drain the wine
– toss with salt, pepper and sunflower seeds
– serve hot or room temperature

Bok Choy Salad
(4 servings)

4 cups of bok choy (give or take)
1/2 cucumber
1 small yellow squash
2 radishes
1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
1 teaspoon olive oil
Juice from half a lemon

– Chop bok choy
– Julienne cucumber, squash and radish
– Toss the salad and set aside
– Mix together the mustard, mayonnaise, and olive oil.
– Whisk the lemon juice into the dressing
– Reserve dressing until ready to serve

What to do with leftover corn salad or bok choy salad? Eat together! Or toss either one into a stir fry.