Driving our carpool to dance the other day one of the girls asked, "Mrs. Kelly... if you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?" Without hesitation I described a tropical island complete with graceful palm trees swaying in the afternoon breeze, a hammock strung between them and a view of sea turtles and dolphins frolicking in the crystal clear turquoise waters. Back in the present time, Molly gazed at me, somewhat perplexed, and then asked, "But what about winter? Don't you want snow and seasons?". Nope... I'm good without.
I think Molly was a little shocked when I explained that life without snow, temps below 65º and sweaters was indeed my little paradise. I can't remember a time when I wasn't dreaming about that tropical island and the fresh, summer foods that would come along with it.
My summer garden, or at least the summer garden I shop from at my local Farmer's Markets, providing endless fresh, local and bursting with flavor foods, is indeed my favorite time of year. All winter (and I really can't complain about cold here in San Diego) I crave the brilliant heirloom tomatoes, freshly picked corn and the plethora of herbs that grow along with them.
Hence, when my last visit to Trader Joe's provided a crate of fresh corn in early May, I pounced on a bagful of ears and promptly popped them on my grill. Grilling brings out even more sweetness in the already sweet corn, and tossing my grilled corn with the first of the market's cherry tomatoes and some of the avocado left on my doorstep by a good friend, I had summer in my bowl.
Leaning back in my chair I closed my eyes and my heart soared just a little as the dolphins and turtles smiled back at me.
Grilled Corn Salad with Avocado, Tomato and Lime
Bursting with the flavors of summer and enhanced with the essence of lime, this salad is sure to enhance your meal. Perfect for a potluck or a picnic, you can make this salad a day ahead.
1-2 ears of corn, grilled (or about 1 cup of frozen)**
1 avocado, cubed
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup chopped red onion
3/4 cup canned garbonzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
3-4 Tbs cilantro, chopped
3 Tbs lime juice
3 Tbs oil (I usually "splash" in place of measuring - we use either olive or grapeseed)
salt and pepper to taste
Cut the grille and cooled corn from the cob. Add corn to a medium mixing bowl along with avocado, tomatoes, onion and chickpeas. Toss gently. Add the cilantro and squeeze the lime. Drizzle with oil and toss again, gently. Season with salt and pepper to taste and chill. Serve either chilled or at room temp. Enjoy!
**Liv Life Note: To grill the corn I simply remove the silks and husks, place the cob directly on the grill over medium heat. Turn every few minutes until desired doneness is achieved.