Roasted Corn and Tomato Salad

Yet again, I have let far too many days slip past me without checking in and sharing a new recipe. Sigh. For those of you that do not know me, I work at an art college managing a graduate design program. With the first day of classes fast approaching, it is an understatement to say I am totally zonked at the end of the day and am very much in need of no time spent in front of a computer.

Excuses, I agree, but valid if you ask me.

Like I said, each day that passes gets me closer to the hum of eager grad students marching through the halls… with lots of questions for their program manager, so, it only seemed appropriate that I whip up a dish that screams, “IT’S STILL SUMMER!!!!” And until the last coals on the barbeque go cold this Labor Day, it is in fact, STILL summer. So, make this for the final BBQ of the season and take joy in the simple and robust flavors of these seasonal ingredients.

Sweet roasted corn, fresh vibrant tomatoes that are as close to perfection as it gets, tangy lime juice, and a snap of cilantro give this dish a refreshing lightness that will stand out on a plate next to any large chuck of grilled protein. Whatever it might be… fish, chicken, beef… this corn and tomato salad will be the perfect compliment.

Close your eyes, take a bite and breath in those last wisps on summer air, because any minute now, you’ll notice that the wind feels cooler and realize it’s time to dig those wool sweaters out of the depths of your dresser.

Fall is almost here, but for now, I going to just enjoy those long sunlight evenings.

Makes 4 servings

4 ears corn on the cob, in the husks
1/2 pint cherry or mini heirloom tomatoes, halved or quartered
The juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the corn in its husks directly on the oven rack and roast until the corn is soft when you press on it, 30 to 40 minutes.

Peel down the husks and cut corn kernels from the cob with a sharp knife. Combine corn, tomatoes, lime juice and cilantro in a bowl. Dress with olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy!

Couscous with Cilantro & Lemon Juice

If you ask me, I’d say everything is better with onions. This recipe is no different.

Couscous has always been a quick and easy alternative to rice for me. Through most of college and graduate school, I simply mixed the grain with water and slathered it with some sort of saucy topping. Having grown up eating couscous dressed up to its full potential (courtesy of my mom’s delicious Moroccan Hannukah dinner), it’s curious that it took me so long to finally give this side dish the proper attention it deserves!

Still quick and easy, but packed with flavor that makes you want to eat this, and only this… the recently discovered lemony couscous recipe is a new favorite! The turmeric coats the onions and garlic while the lemon zest infuses the couscous with a snap of brightness and punch. Chopped cilantro elevates the freshness of the dish, while adding a pop of green amongst the rich yellow color.

You can serve this side with a variety of dishes… grilled lamb, roasted chicken or baked tofu to name a few. We chose to grill chicken and veggie kebabs with a dollop of hummus for a Mediterranean meal right in our own dining room. Mmmm…. tasty!

Makes 4 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 2/3 cups water
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 cup plain couscous
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onions; sauteed until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes Add turmeric; stir 1 minute. Add 1 2/3 cups water, lemon peel, and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt; bring to boil. Remove pan from heat. Stir in couscous. Cover; let stand until liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Fluff with fork; mix in cilantro and lemon juice. Season with pepper and additional coarse salt, if desired. 

It’s that easy!