We’re starting to hit that time of year when summer’s glorious produce demands to be used, just when you may be too heat-fatigued to feel like doing much with it. To the rescue: a recipe made for those days when an hour spent mowing the law, pulling weeds or strolling the farmers market needs to be followed by a tall glass of iced tea and a nap.
This salad demands very little of you and gives so much in return. It’s hearty enough to be a main-course lunch, light enough to play side-dish status. It also employs smart ways to make your vegetables sing with even more clarity: Soaking sliced scallions in cold water crisps them up. Salting tomatoes 10 minutes in advance of assembly brings out more of their flavor. Briefly microwaving corn brightens it and helps you more easily remove the ears’ husk and silks. Cutting the radishes into matchsticks (or running them along the coarse side of a box grater) helps spread their peppery bite more evenly. Honestly, though, if any of those steps seems like too much work, just skip it and use your favorite shortcut.
The rest of the job entails nothing more than dressing, tossing and serving. Before you do the latter, though, you’ll shower on the crowning touch of crushed, crunchy tortilla chips. If you’ve got the energy, you could fry your own tortillas, of course, but trust me: Opening a bag is much more seasonally appropriate. They don’t call them the lazy days of summer for nothing.
Corn, Radish, Tomato and Tortilla Chip Salad
This couldn’t-get-more-summery salad is hefty enough to be a main-course lunch.
- 4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1 pound large ripe heirloom tomatoes, stemmed
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
- 4 ears fresh corn, still in their husks
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 2 small radish bunches (about 16 very small radishes), cleaned and coarsely grated or julienned (about 1 1/2 cups)
- About 20 salted tortilla chips (1 ounce), crushed
Soak the scallions in cold water for at least 20 minutes to crisp them up. Drain and pat dry with a clean dish towel.
While the scallions are soaking, prep the tomatoes and corn: First, slice the tomatoes into medium wedges. Sprinkle them with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and let them sit for at least 10 minutes to bring out their flavor.
Run cold water all over the corn. Microwave on HIGH until the corn is steaming hot, 6 to 8 minutes. When they are cool enough to handle, use a sharp knife to cut crosswise through the husk and cob an inch or two from the wide/stem end (opposite from the end with the tassel of silk). Hold the silk end, then push the corn cob out the other end. Discard any stray silks. Cut each cob in half, then stand each half upright and cut off the kernels. (You should have 2 to 3 cups.)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper. Add the tomatoes and their juices, corn kernels, radishes and half the scallions, and gently toss. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if needed (keeping in mind that the tortilla chips are also salty).
Arrange the vegetables on a large platter. Sprinkle the tortilla chips and remaining scallions on the salad, and serve.
Nutrition | Calories: 200; Total Fat: 10 g; Saturated Fat: 2 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 320 mg; Carbohydrates: 28 g; Dietary Fiber: 5 g; Sugars: 7 g; Protein: 5 g.
(Adapted from “A New Way to Food” by Maggie Battista. Roost Books, 2019.)