Oh, summer. It's pretty hot and dry around here these days, as I'm sure it is for many of you in other parts (unless it's your winter!). It's been one long, hot, dry summer so far and truth be told, it's a little strange for us here in Vancouver. With all the wet weather we are used to here in these west coast parts, it's definitely alarming when the water restrictions come in to full force, with bans on things like car washes, or sprinklers in the garden. The rains really can't come soon enough and we're watching every drop we consume cause it's just something we have to do. A first. And I'm sure not the last, either.
But with the hot dry weather, has also come one of the best fresh produce summers (especially the insanely good fruit) we've enjoyed in a long while. Never have we had sweeter cherries, bigger blueberries, or just the outright explosions of perfectly flavoured ripe tomatoes and hoards of seasonal veggies. Hallelujah for that!
I made this salad the other day when I had picked up a watermelon-sized bag of fresh basil, some of the sweetest corn I've ever had (I swear), and some beautiful, perfectly sized local white potatoes. Potatoes and corn I thought? Yeah, that'll work :) I added some Mung bean Sprouts that I'd sprouted and thrown in the fridge, along with this intensely flavoured basil and dijon mustard dressing that I've been making for years. This is a bit of a veggie lovers meal-in-one with a glass of white wine, a baguette, and good company. Dig in to summer, cause we know it won't last forever!
Summer Potato, Corn + Basil Salad:2# small golden or white potatoes, washed and quartered
2 cobs sweet corn
1/4 cup red onion, minced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup sprouted lentils or mung beans (use this easy sprouting guide)
1/2 cup Basil Dijon Dressing, or to taste
1/4 cup crumbled feta (optional)
Garden tomatoes if available to garnish
First, peel the corn and place the cobs in a pot with about 3 inches of water (I like to break them in half). Bring the water to a boil with a lid on and cook the corn with the heat on medium for 8-10 minutes. When ready, drain and run the cooked corn under cool water, before shaving the corn off the cob with a sharp knife. Once the corn is cooking, put the potatoes up to boil in a pot covered in water to cover by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil and simmer for 7-8 minutes until tender but not mushy. While the potatoes and corn cook, combine all the dressing ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend until creamy and smooth.
Prepare the parsley + red onions by chopping both finely, and gather the mung beans and feta (if using) and set aside. When the potatoes are cooked, drain them in a colander and let sit to cool for 10 minutes or so, until warm but not hot. In a large mixing bowl, combine the potatoes, corn, red onion, parsley, and mung beans with the dressing. Mix until well coated and let cool to room temperature before serving. Add the feta and some reserved parsley, black pepper, and any colourful tomatoes for garnish (halved cherry tomatoes would be wonderful) and serve. This recipe should serve 4 as a hearty side.