Eating better food for less and other tales from a no-moneymoon

Monday, August 9, 2010

Zippy Cucumber and Corn Salad

I come from a long line of "good cooks" and there are two things that stand out in both my mother and grandmother's recipe boxes, of which I am the lucky heiress: a love of fresh vegetable-laden summer "salads" (although lettuce is rarely an ingredient in these sort of PA Dutch salads) and a talent for creative naming. My grandmother didn't make Sloppy Joes (already a creative moniker.) She made Wimpies. Tuna Casserole? Try Fish Wiggle, instead. You get the idea.

So when I threw together this refreshing and healthy salad for lunch last week, I decided it was zippy. Yes, zippy. This would be a nice side to some grilled chicken or maybe some grilled salmon. But for just me, it was a healthy and light lunch with a dollop of ricotta that I had leftover from a recent gathering. Plus, with the basil from our terrace and the corn, onion and cucumber from the CSA, this budget-friendly dish helped me empty out the overstuffed vegetable drawer in the nick of time.

ZIPPY Cucumber and Corn Salad

1 medium onion, diced
1 cob corn, kernels sliced off
1/2 large cucumber, diced and skin on
10-12 basil leaves, washed
1 Tablespoon honey
3 Tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
Dollop of ricotta cheese

In a saute pan, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil and cook the onion and corn until just cooked. Cool.

Meanwhile, in a food processor (my mini Cuisinart is salad-dressing sized) blend the basil, honey, 2 T. olive oil and salt and pepper. If you have trouble mixing you can add a little more oil or water, depending on how healthy you want to be.

Combine the cooled onion and corn with the cucumber. Toss with basil-honey dressing and top with ricotta cheese.

You could probably have the corn and onion uncooked for a raw dish, but uncooked corn can be tough on tummies, so go easy with it. And be sure to save the corn cob for's what my grandmother would have done.

Zippy salad that's healthy and filling
Summer "salad" cleans out the fridge
Using a rich leftover in small quantities = sort of healthy

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