Bounty is overflowing!

Colours are everywhere, as are textures and flavours of delicious local produce. I look outside my kitchen window to see my 6 year old pear tree drooping because of the large heavy pears already ripe for the picking and then further in my backyard I glance over to the bright red tomatoes that have the perfect aroma for a fresh tomato salad or salsa. I do this in amazement each day because I can enjoy my own harvest without that much effort on my part. That said, we all know how much work goes into our local farms. I think dedication and strength produce some of the best produce around. Perhaps some luck and great soil and good weather help too, I’m guessing. But in all seriousness, the fact that most of us have been enjoying fresh fruits and vegetables right now thanks to some great weather that has helped move growth and ripening along is truly amazing.
Whether you grow your own vegetables and fruit or visit the market downtown or take a trip with the local food map around Guelph to visit farms and local vendors, you have to admit, there is some great tasting stuff out there!
I wanted it all! Corn, potatoes, beans, garlic, beets, carrots, strawberries, blueberries, peaches and the list goes on.
The pints of strawberries and blueberries go down quickly, I don’t even think my kids realize how sweet and tasty they are as they enjoy them by the handfuls. Washing the fresh dirt from my new potatoes before placing them in a pot to boil I can feel how soft and delicate that fresh potato skin is, it almost rubs off. Fresh Ontario garlic, nothing tastes like it. Big fresh cloves that have the sweet, slight heat that garlic should have. It’s firm to the touch and ready to be tossed into sauces, salads and breads. I’m making myself hungry as I write this, which is always a sign to get into the kitchen and cook.
In my kitchen when I can I like to put together simple ingredients, like the bounty we have available to us now and bring them together to create a delicious easy recipe that people will enjoy. It’s not about having long ingredient lists or weird ingredients; it’s just about taking tasty ingredients and putting them together to make them awesome. Is it possible? Sure it is, if you like being creative you can add a bit of this or that but if you are not quite sure, follow a recipe. As a recipe writer, it means a lot to me to know that someone has made one of my recipes for their family or friends and enjoyed it and has made it part of their “regular” recipes. It means so much that I then encourage people to use those recipes as guidelines to be creative in their own kitchens to use more simple ingredients and keep cooking. Right now it’s a lot about local and seasonal and you know what? It should be, just look around, whether you shop at the market or in a grocery store or both-you will find what you are looking for-simple, fresh and delicious ingredients to feed you and your family.
Okay so really what did I want to make with the new potatoes (they were mini by the way, because they are so darn cute and cook faster), green beans, garlic and corn? They could easily be enjoyed on their own, steamed corn with butter is always a summertime classic. Green beans in a salad have always been a staple in my kitchen. And potatoes, wow you can steam, boil, roast, panfry, grill or grate into pancakes. But I decided that I wanted to not only have lots of fresh flavour but colour too. So I decided to put them all together in a salad that can be made ahead and enjoyed at a potluck or as a different summer side dish. But versatile enough to enjoy for lunch too with the addition of some tuna perhaps.
Grilled Corn, Potato and Bean Salad

For a slight crunch to the potatoes, after boiling; toss them in a bit of oil and grill them until golden brown and crisp over medium high heat. It will be a nice option for the salad.

4 cobs of corn, shucked
1 ½ lbs (750 g) mini new potatoes
8 oz (250 g) green beans, trimmed
1 field tomato, chopped
1/3 cup (75 mL) chopped fresh basil
3 tbsp (45 mL) each extra virgin olive oil and cider vinegar
3 tbsp (45 mL) chopped sundried tomatoes in oil
2 cloves or 1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tsp (5 mL) Dijon mustard
½ tsp (2 mL) salt

Place corn on greased grill over medium high heat; close lid and cook turning occasionally for about 10 minutes or until golden. Remove to cutting board. When cool enough to handle, cut corn kernels off cob and place in bowl.

Meanwhile, bring potatoes to boil in a pot of water. Boil for 15 minutes or until tender when pierced but not falling apart. Remove with slotted spoon to cutting board. Add green beans into boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and cut in half; set aside.

Cut potatoes in half, larger ones in quarters and add to bowl with corn. Add green beans, tomato and basil.

In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, sundried tomatoes, garlic, mustard and salt. Pour over potato mixture and toss gently to coat.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Tips: You can use white or red mini potatoes for the salad. If you are using large new potatoes, cut them into large chunks after boiling. They will also take a bit longer to cook through.

Cover this salad and refrigerate for up to 2 days and toss before serving. It’s great at room temperature or out of the fridge.

I included salt in this recipe, but you can omit it or season it with more and feel free to add some freshly ground black pepper too.

For an easy lunch, serve this salad with some canned drained tuna or salmon. Perfect for a hot summer afternoon on the deck and a glass of white wine.


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