My favorite Summer Salad
You may have seen me talk about this Summer Salad before. It really is my all-time favorite salad. But, alas, it’s best only when peaches are in season. The fresh sweet peaches are the key to this beautiful and healthy bowl of lusciousness! I know, maybe that sounds like too much praise for a mere salad. It is, after all, just a big bowl of fruits and veggies. I don’t even put dressing on (though you can if you want). As you eat the salad, the avocado kind of mashes in, and creates a creaminess, almost like a really thick ranch dressing.
Oh, but sometimes the salad is greater than the sum of its parts. It’s a stunningly simple little work of edible greatness. All these sweet summer flavors coming together on your fork. ahhhhhh. So lovely.
Now, the one problem with this salad is that it does take some time to make. It’s so worth it though. And, if you think ahead during the week while you’re making dinner you can prep some of the veggies and have them ready to throw into the Summer Salad. Otherwise, if you want to try doing a short cut, just leave all the veggies raw, it’s still good (oh yes, I’ve done that too).
As a side note, these are my favorite ways to prep each of these veggies, so you could make them this way for dinner as well and just serve them by themselves.
Grilled Corn on the Cob:
Shuck the corn (meaning clean all the husks and the silks off the cob).
Over medium heat, grill cobs of corn directly on the grill until it gets some dark golden brown areas, about 30 minutes. You’ll also see, what my husband refers to as shrinkle (see photo below). When some of the kernels start to shrivel and shrink, this means the corn is nice and grilled and sweet.
Allow the corn to cool a bit, and cut the corn from the cob by holding an ear with one end resting on the counter or in a large bowl to catch all the kernels and juices. Using a sharp knife, slowly slice down the ear, removing the top two-thirds of the kernels, but leaving the base of the kernel attached to the cob. Then, using the dull side of the knife, press down the length of the ear to push out the rest of the kernel and the milk. Set the kernels and milk in the fridge to cool.
Sauteed Green Beans:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 big handful fresh green beans, trimmed of the ends and cut into 1-2 inch pieces
a pinch of salt
Heat oil in a large skillet. Once the oil is hot, toss in the green beans and give them a quick stir. Allow them to brown a little on one side, this takes about 10 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and stir the beans. Remove the beans from the pan and place on a large plate so they have room to breathe. Place the plate full of green beans in the fridge and allow to cool, preferably to just a little lower than room temperature.
Next up, the easy quick stuff…
First, a couple of tips on peaches. When peaches are ripe, they will yield to gentle pressure, but the best way to tell if your peaches are ripe, is to smell them. Peaches and nectarines have a beautiful strong fruity smell when they’re ripe. Sniff the stem end, and a ripe peach will smell heavenly! Keep your peaches at room temperature if they aren’t ripe, and once they ripen, pop them in the fridge for a day or two.
My favorite peaches are the white peaches. I love that they are freestone, which means that the pit easily detaches from the fruit. Generally, I find that the yellow peaches are cling, meaning that the fruit clings to the stone or pit inside, making it difficult to get nice slices and chunks.
Cut the peach into chunks and toss into the bowl.
Cut the avocado into chunks.
Lightly toss the cut corn and corn milk, green beans, peach chunks, and avocado in a large bowl. As you toss, the avocado will mash a bit and mix with the corn milk making the dressing. If you like more of a dressing on your salad, I’d suggest a really light flavored vinaigrette. That’s it! Devour and enjoy!
In my Instagram shot I added snap peas to the mix as well. What are your favorite flavors of summer?