Like many people, I don't always want to spend an evening cooking, but would rather be outside enjoying the weather -especially when it's summer in MN- And who wouldn't? Minnesotans battle the long, arduous winters, only to benefit from the amazing, short summer months. Many argue fall is better, and I'd have to agree, but cooking in autumn is much more pleasant.
I try to keep food prep to a minimum during these hot, sizzling days, and I often get inspired from fruits and veg on sale at the market. This salad is a product of such and was not planned. I threw together ingredients my mind felt melded well; no cooking/heating is required, simply chop and toss.
The complexity of taste may seem far reaching because the ingredients are clean and straightforward, but when paired together, they play a harmonious symphony in your mouth. It ranges from sweet corn and peach at first bite to a more hearty black bean, massaged kale and bright parsley finish.
One of the key ingredients in this dish is the freshly shucked corn. It's imperative that the corn is harvested < 48 hours before consuming. Otherwise you'll lose out on the juicy, corn milk, which is unknown to most. It wasn't until I was well into my 20's when I learned about the depths of corn. I was a farmhand at Riverbend in Delano, MN when another worker told me to bite into an ear of corn. The flavour was/is incredible, and every time I think of corn, I reminisce of the silky, milk sensation that bursts with every bite of kernel. It's what I look forward to every summer.
4 lacinato/dinosaur kale leaves, shredded
rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup black beans, drained and rinsed*
1 ear of corn, fresh (<48 hours from harvest preferred), kernels removed
1 scallion, thinly sliced on a bias
parsley, roughly chopped
1 oz. Asiago cheese, grated
1/2 nectarine, sliced
s & p**
1. in a bowl, massage kale with a small drizzle of olive oil and rice wine vinegar; allow to sit while you prep the rest.
2. mix together corn, beans, scallion, parsley and cheese in a bowl
3. toss kale and mix of corn/beans
4. fan the nectarine slices and sprinkle salt and pepper taste
*it's summer, use canned; but by all means, if you're a purist, then cook those bad boys from uncooked, dried.
** salt and pepper, to taste