Monday, August 20, 2012

A little bowl of summer.

Some of the most delicious things are born of necessity. My corn, avocado and cucumber salad most definitely falls into that category. I first made it one hot, sweaty night when I couldn't face cooking but was too hungry to wait for delivery. The only vegetables in the fridge were corn and cucumber, and one lone avocado hung out in a bowl on the counter.

Figuring that nothing tastes bad if you add enough basil, I husked the corn and sliced the kernels off into a shallow bowl, chopped and added the cucumber, and pulled a few leaves from my windowsill basil. Finally, I split the avocado and added half of it to the mix. A healthy amount of salt, dash of pepper, and light pours of sherry vinegar and olive oil followed. (My feelings about sherry vinegar are akin to those I have for basil: it makes pretty much everything better.)

The resulting salad was far tastier than I expected. The avocado melted just a bit under the salt and vinegar, becoming part creamy dressing, part vegetable. The raw corn popped with every bite, and the cucumbers added satisfying heft. (Cucumbers, heft - who knew!) And, of course, the basil was delightful. Nothing says summer like a shower of basil. (And if you need more punch, just add a scallion to the mix.)

Corn, Avocado & Cucumber Salad

1 kirby cucumber, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
Kernels from 1 ear of sweet corn
1/2 an avocado, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
5-6 basil leaves, thinly sliced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil and sherry vinegar

Combine the cucumber, corn, avocado and basil in a medium bowl. Season with a generous pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper, then dress with a drizzle each of oil and vinegar. Toss until well combined and let sit for 10 minutes or so. Taste for seasoning, adjust to your liking, and serve immediately.

Serves one as a main dish or two as a side.

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