Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Corn and Tomato Salad with Fresh Basil

Happy belated 4th of July! Hopefully everyone had a fun and safe holiday weekend. Brady and I had a great three day weekend. We cheered on the Cubs at Wrigley, explored the Lincoln Park farmers market and finally found ourselves back in the kitchen doing a little cooking.

This was my first trip to the big farmers market this year and Brady has never been so we had a great time checking out all of the vendors and planning a dinner full of fresh produce and farm raised meat. Our favorite purchase was elk brats from Hawks Hill Elk Ranch in Monticello, Wisconsin. We boiled these in a big pot of water and beer and added a little cider vinegar and chopped onion. We then finished the brats on a grill pan. They turned out awesome! I have never had elk but the meat was so flavorful and didn't have the "game" taste that I was expecting. I would highly recommend checking out the link above and ordering some elk meat or perhaps looking for it at your local farmers market. Not only did the elk taste great but it has less calories and fat then chicken, pork and beef- who knew?! Plus it's always nice to know where your meat is coming from and actually meet the rancher who has raised and prepared the meat.

For our side dish we made the below Corn and Tomato Salad with Fresh Basil. Unfortunately tomatoes aren't in season here yet so we couldn't buy those at the farmers market but we were able to pick up a few of the other ingredients. I loved the freshness of the salad plus it colorful and screams summer! We all have our go-to salad recipes that we make when company comes over to barbeque and I know this is one that I will be throwing into the rotation, it's a sure bet crowd-pleaser!

Corn and Tomato Salad with Fresh Basil
*** from Cooking Light
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Serves: 4
Prep/Cook Time: 25 minutes

8 ounces small yellow or red potatoes
4 ears fresh yellow corn
2 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 c. minced shallots
3 T. while balsamic vinegar
1 T. dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 T. olive oil
6 c. arugula
1/2 c. torn fresh basil
2 ounces mozzarella, cubed

Place potatoes in a small saucepan; cover with water and bring to boil. Cook about 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and run under cold water. Cut potatoes in half lenghwise. Combine potatoes, corn, tomatoes, and red bell pepper in a large bowl.

Combine shallots through black pepper in a small bowl. Slowly pour oil into shallot mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Drizzle the sauce over the corn mixture. Add arugula, basil and cubed mozzarella and toss to combine.

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