I’m doing the summer thing. I was given a brief glimpse into the world of people with free-time when all three kids went off to day-camp for a few weeks. What did I do with my 20 hours a week of free time? Did I re-organize my closets, go through all the out-grown clothes in my kids rooms or read a top-notch novel? Nope, I spent a lot of time pacing around the house trying to figure out what to do first. Usually I would give up and head down to Marshall’s to walk up and down the isles without buying anything. Oh, and I binge watched the first six episodes of UnREAL (which is the best thing to happen to summer television since Sex in the City).
I’ve also done a little recipe development. It’s natural this time of year. Every week I pick up my produce box and it’s full of inspiration. The number of recipes on this blog inspired by things in my box of produce is well into the double digits. Not only because I see trendy and unusual items like garlic scapes, but sometimes because I need to come up with a new way to eat an item I’ve grown bored with. That’s what happened here.
I’ve never been a huge beet fan, but a few of them here and there in a salad topped with crumbled goat cheese or baked into chips are great. Once we hit mid-July, six weeks in a row of beets were starting to pile up in the fridge. It was about then that the local corn started coming in and those things seemed a natural pair. Of course with all that sweetness, you need a lot of acid and a strong flavor. Wine vinegar and a bunch of herbs balance out the sweetness. The tarragon is such a star in this recipe; sweet corn and tarragon are beautiful together.
While this dish is certainly stunning with yellow beets, you can make a strong statement with red beets as well; I tried both. In the recipe I call for you to cook the beets and corn in the oven/stove. As I despise heating up my kitchen this time of year, I tested this recipe on the grill and found that you can effortlessly cook both the beets and corn on the grill. If you want to give it a try, just wash the beets and remove the stems, then wrap them in foil and cook them on medium-hot grill for about 40-50 minutes (depending on the size of your beets). Corn is even easier to grill. I don’t shuck it, soak it or anything. I place it on the grill just like it came off the plant, then turn it once or twice until the husks are dry and charred (about 20 minutes).
The salad is delicious by itself, but my leftovers found their way into salads tossed with fresh greens and summer tomatoes. Those salads were pretty tasty too. I love recipes like this that cram all the best flavors of summer together in a single dish. Enjoy!
- 1/2 pound golden beets, whole (about 1 large or 4 small)
- 4 large ears of corn
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh snipped chives (or two scallions thinly sliced)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoons fresh tarragon, finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash beets and trim stems. Wrap in foil and place in preheated oven. Bake until a knife slides easily in and out of the beet, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- While beets are cooking, remove husks from corn and boil in a large pot of water for three minutes. Remove from the water and allow to cool.
- Once the beets have cooled, use a paper towel to remove the skins by rubbing them. Dice the peeled beets into 1/2 inch pieces and set aside. When the corn has cooled, use a knife to cut the kernels from the ears. You should have about 2 cups of corn kernels.
- In a medium mixing bowl combine the vinegar, mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper. Stir rapidly until the dressing comes together. Add the herbs, corn and beets and toss to combine. Season to taste. Serve immediately or keep for up to a day covered in the refrigerator.
- To cook beets and corn on a grill: wash the beets and remove the stems, then wrap them in foil and cook on medium-hot grill for about 40-50 minutes (depending on the size of your beets). Corn is even easier to grill. I don't shuck it, soak it or anything. I place it on the grill just like it came off the plant, then turn it once or twice until the husks are dry and charred (about 20 minutes).