…. always bring basil to mind. The classic threesome includes mozzarella, in a tasty caprese salad, but recently Fine Cooking offered a different twist: hearty beefsteak tomatoes topped with grilled corn and dressed with delicate basil oil, all of which was prepared in minutes. When it’s too hot to cook inside this meal is a breath of fresh air: everything’s grilled outside, the house stays cool, and so do you. 😉

(Fine Cooking Grilling issue, 2010)

for basil oil

1 cup basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

for the salad:
2 ears of corn, husks removed
2 Tbs olive oil
salt and pepper
2 large beefsteak tomatoes

Make the basil oil: bring a pot of water to boil, add the basil leaves and blanch them for 10 seconds. Immediately drain them and plunge them in a bowl with ice water to stop cooking. Drain the leaves again, squeeze them to remove excess water, and place over paper towels to dry. Chop the basil coarsely and add into a blender. Add the oil and salt, blend to form a puree. Let the puree settle for about 30 minutes, strain through cheesecloth or a chinois, pressing the leaves to release all the oil. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Prepare the corn: break the corn cobs in half, toss them with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper and cook them over a hot grill until browned in spots (about 2 minutes on each side, six minutes total). When cooked, return them to the bowl and allow them to cool. When you can handle them, cut off the kernels (lengthwise) with a large knife, and then set the cut corn aside until you’re ready to assemble the salad.

Make the salad: Slice the tomatoes 1/2 inch thick and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the slices on a plate, scatter the corn kernels over them and drizzle with basil oil.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Until recently I’d never grilled an ear of corn. We’d always bring the corn to a boil in water with a little sugar and salt. That’s the way my husband’s family has always prepared corn, and trust me, it’s an excellent approach. I don’t even butter mine because it’s so flavorful; just a dash of salt and pepper is enough. But, for reasons that will soon become clear I’ve been grilling more often, sometimes even making a full meal in the grill.

I was satisfied by how well the beefsteak tomato worked in this recipe. We normally don’t buy them, but prefer smaller tomatoes (Campari, cherry, or grape). However, in this recipe the beefsteaks shine! If you find them in your farmer’s market, then don’t think twice and make this salad.

The basil oil is a bit of trouble to prepare, but worth the half an hour. Blanching the leaves produces a bright and beautiful green oil. Store any leftover basil oil in the fridge for about 1 week.

Note to self: Grill more corn! 😉

ONE YEAR AGO:  Focaccia

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10 thoughts on “SUMMER’S TOMATOES…

  1. Good idea to put these two seasonal vegetables together. I learned about grilling corn from the Africans who sell it in the street around La Chapelle metro in northern Paris. It’s also sold this way in the Brazilian Nordeste.

    Last year I made a basil oil that kept without refrigeration until the spring (with the help of a little willpower and rationing). Must find the recipe…


  2. But it is in a very odd place and Celia is the only person who has ticked like it on my blog so I don’t think people notice it or think it is important, I might turn it off on mine. Sally, do you have one of those corn zipper things? Celia just showed me one and I am putting it on my christmas list of kitchen gadgets. Basil oil, wow! Grilled corn, more wows. two things I have never done. I will go back up the page and take notes. When is the move happening?


  3. Corn is quite popular in Poland, too; we rather eat it in salads (I do not like) or cooked in boiling water (which I like, but I am not crazy about). Just two weeks ago I discovered, through Lootie and Doof, fried corn – I loved it, and I love the combo of basil and corn. It must go very well with tomatoes, too.
    I will try it one day!
    Have a nice evening.


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