As the summer rolls in and we bask in the gloriously long days of the season - there is one thing I can't help but feel in especially massive quantities -- my gratitude is spilling over in every which way you can fathom. The number of blessings we are given might just be doled out based on our ability to count them...and if this is true then I've got my abacus out and might just keep it there forever as I don't plan to ever stop counting, or believing that very theory to be true for that matter.Last week, I was lucky enough to share another great meal with friends on a sweet summer night, the kind of night that is remembered for years to come, when the air is calm and there is nowhere in the world we'd rather be, but chilling on the deck as the sun goes down with the wine flowing (ever so gently but still). I've said this before, and I will say it again, but taking time to connect with our fellow human beings is so vital, and so important to get to the heart of who we are. Enjoying the simple things together, like laughter, and good food, for those are the times we will look back on later in life. Not how we rushed through the days in our own worlds and then laid awake at night wondering how we were going to fit it all in all over again the next day. We are so vulnerable after all, and those who are blessed in this life I believe have a calling, or an unwritten role: and that is simply to share the love. As best we can and with our whole hearts, holding nothing back.
This recipe is one that was shared at that meal, a hearty, healthy, reasonably inexpensive way to eat, and a dish that everyone can love, in all of its sweet summery goodness. For right now, for me, it is this, this sharing of simple beautiful food, and of thoughts (however rambling), this is part of my calling for now, and I love each and every moment of it. I am so happy to have a few folks along for the ride, fellow food lovers and those looking for something, whatever it is that brings you here to read (insert heart emoticon here).
Because nobody knows what can happen tomorrow, but I do know what happened today, and yesterday, and the day before that. Those things that I do, and say, and share, and think: those are the things that matter, and now, not later. What I do today is what I am. And darned if I am going to squander even one of my blessings. And here, as I type, I've lost count of them, as the number is too great. I bet if you look hard at yours too, you might just lose count yourself. Hold on to it. It's a beautiful thing.
Summer Gratitude Corn & Feta Salad
~ Adapted from Whitewater Cooks at Home
- (5) ears of fresh corn
- (2) red bell peppers, seeded and chopped finely
- (4) green onions, chopped finely
- (1/2) bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
- (1.5) tsp ground cumin
- (1/4) cup olive oil
- (2) limes, juiced
- (1) tsp salt
- (1/2) cup feta cheese, cubed (optional)
- cilantro leaves & cherry tomatoes for garnish
Start by peeling the cobs of corn and breaking them in half. This can be a little messy and is a great job for kids -- I still remember shucking corn as a kid -- who doesn't, right? Put up the corn in a large pot with 4-6 inches of cold water (don't worry about covering the corn). Boil the water with the lid on, and allow the corn to cook for 8-10 minutes, keeping the water at a low boil with the lid on, until soft to the touch.
While the corn cooks, prepare the rest of the vegetables and put them in a medium bowl and set aside. Once the corn is cooked, drain it and allow it to cool about 10 minutes or so, until you can hold it without your hand burning. Resting the corn on a cutting board, use a sharp knife to slice the kernels from the cob. Do this for all the corn until you have a large pile of beautiful kernels. When cool enough to touch, break apart the kernels with your hands.
When the corn has reached room temperature, combine it with the olive oil, lime juice, salt, and feta and toss very gently to mix. Next, add the chopped vegetables and mix again gently so as not to crush the feta cubes. Serve topped with fresh pepper and optional tomatoes & cilantro leaves.
This dish easily serves as a side to a hungry group of 4-6, and leftovers keep well for a couple of days in the fridge. I added the leftovers to a frittata, and it was wonderful, and this could also serve as the base for a fresh corn salsa as well. It was served with a lovely loaf of fresh bread, an equally tasty green salad, and our latest fave: the frittata - we've been enjoying these often in our house as the whole family loves them and they make a great use of all the kitchen crisper scraps.
Being busy is what stops us all from doing the things we love - whether it is taking on too much, or just trying to make it through the long list of items that is life. But there should always be time for meals together, if not every day then as often as we can. This dish is just perfect for sharing, and we've since enjoyed it more than once. I hope you will like it as much as we did!