Some foods literally exude summer. Everyone has his or her faves, but my "essence of summer" foods are lemon ice-box pie, strawberry shortcake, marinated cucumber salad, and calico beef burgers, to name a few.
They're the menu items that I just can't "do" the summer season without. So early on, I start making a mental list to be sure I'm not having to cram in some last-minute gorging as the season wanes.
A new quintessential summer dish moved onto my radar screen this week. I wasn't looking for a summer synonym--but simply something to use the ample ears of corn my hubby brought home from Kroger this week because the produce area had it at a good sale price. (The corn in our garden is materializing but isn't quite as high as an elephant's eye yet, so we're still supplementing from the grocery until we bring in our own corn ears.)
So I stumbled on a recipe for "Avocado Salsa". I thought the mingling of avocados, cherry tomatoes, and fresh corn sounded, well, colorful at least. Like several other recipes I've mentioned in this blog, this one inspired skepticism also. "It just seems like it would need some kind of a dressing," I reported to Hubby as I assembled the ingredients.
Interesting role-reversal. He's usually the one who raises a dubious eyebrow about whether a recipe will "work". This time he was the Encouraging Barnabas of the kitchen. "I bet the lime juice is all it needs," he assessed as he scanned the salsa recipe in the "Celebrating a Healthy Harvest" booklet from the Chickasaw Nation.
He was right. The lime juice, mixed with the salt and chopped cilantro, worked miracles on the avocado, tomato, and corn combination (and even more so the second day after the concoction refrigerated overnight.)
The result! "Avocado Salsa", which we served over spinach but also could be an appetizer alongside tortilla chips--became instant, edible summer--a new dish perfect for summer staple events such as picnics, family reunions, church potlucks, lunches at the lake, or as we experienced it--a simple summer dinner-for-two at home.
2 avocados, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
1 cup corn, cooked and cut off cob
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon salt (we use salt substitute)
Combine avocado, tomatoes, corn, and cilantro; toss. Slowly pour lime juice over the salsa and toss to combine. Chill for 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend.