My brain's been in a whirl ever since last Saturday ...............
................... in a "culinary" whirl, that is. You see, even though here in southeastern United States, we're still having temperatures in the 80's and 90's, the calendar turned over on Saturday to SEPTEMBER. To me, no matter what the temperatures are, it means the change of seasons..... and that means yummy soups, apples, maple syrup, pumpkins, squash of all shapes, colors and varieties, cider, pecans ................. and on and on I could go. You know, all the delightful, uniquely "fall" tastes, smells and robust flavors that signify this lovely time of the year.
Before we totally bid adieu to summer, however, I want to share a delicious salad that we enjoyed recently. It's bursting with delightful seasonal flavor; fresh corn, avocado, juicy summer tomatoes, sweet mango, tiny green peas and lots of fresh basil. This salad is also beyond versatile! Add or subtract whatever you find or (don't find) in your crisper drawer or at the market. Sweet onion, chopped peppers, sliced zucchini, nectarines or cucumber slivers would all work well in this seasonal salad. The delicious Citrus-Basil Vinaigrette ties it all together; it's fresh and vibrant with lemons, limes and oranges. Honey, along with another generous handful of fresh basil are the ambrosial, crowning touches.
I teased you with just a few pictures of this salad on Monday, but you don't have to wait any longer. If you're like us here at The Café, you may find yourself enjoying this yummy salad more than once before the cold winds blow. Grill some chicken, steak, pork or seafood and serve it with a generous helping of Fresh Corn, Avocado and Mango Salad ............... you'll fine it's a perfect way to savor the last sweet vestiges of summer.
Avocado & Mango Salad w/ Citrus-Basil Vinaigrette
Ingredients for the vinaigrette:
½ cup basil leaves, packed
3 tablesoons lime juice
zest of 1 lime
2 tablesoons lemon (juice)
zest of 1 lemon
¼ cup orange juice
zest of 1 orange
2 tablesoons rice vinegar
½ small jalapeno, finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
1 clove garlic
½ teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup canola or sunflower oil
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Ingredients for the salad:
3 ears fresh cooked corn*, kernels cut from cobs
1 medium avocado, peeled, cored and sliced width-wise into ¼ inch slices
1 medium mango, peeled, cored and sliced into bite-size pieces
2 cups tomatoes - I used yellow heirlooms, but cherry, grape or regular tomatoes (diced) would all be fine
½ to 1 cup tiny, frozen peas (unthawed)
Instructions for the vinaigrette:
1. Place all ingredients except oil in blender or food processor. Mix until thoroughly combined. Add oil in a thin stream while blender is on or while whisking by hand. Taste and add a bit more salt and pepper, if needed.
2. Arrange all salad ingredients on a large plate or serving platter. Drizzle with Citrus-Basil Vinaigrette. Pass extra dressing at the table.
I LOVE using this method to shuck and lightly steam my corn. My friend Paula, shared it with me and I can't believe how easy and delicious it is. Check it out! You can also shuck the corn in your traditional method, then lightly steam it and allow to cool before adding to the salad.
I'm sharing this on Stone Gable's On the Menu Monday