Blueberries and sweet corn harmonize in summer salad
Marisa Renwald July 2, 2012 4:38PM
Sweet corn and blueberries, two of summer's most cherished crops, create a perfect taste combination.
Updated: August 5, 2012 6:08AM
Two clashing flavors of early summer, so opposite and foreign to one another, couldn’t seem like they’d possibly ever meld together. But discovery and experimentation have proved propriety wrong.
Sweet corn and blueberries — July’s most cherished crops. Each one boasts its own legion of extraordinary summer sensations. Sweet corn, with its crisp and tender kernels, satisfies the longing for that simple sweetness of a local vegetable to squelch our dried-out palates deep in the heat of summer. Blueberries, on the other hand, while sweet, exhibit a certain mildness necessary to buck the swarm of bold seasonal flavors.
Together, though, they complement each other so beautifully that it’s almost a sin it has taken us years to figure out they belong en masse. They both enjoy the same level of sweetness, the same juiciness at their peak ripeness, and the same bit of mellow flavor — perfect for working into any summer dish.
But today, this flavor combo is a pretty progressive underground trend in the food world. Leading-edge chefs with a taste for Americana work this pair into everything from ice cream to salsa.
To truly emphasize the cordial surprise of this twosome, try out this recipe for blueberry and sweet corn salad. Crisp and refreshing, it offers everything you want in a cool summer dish as well as the lovely harmony between the flavors of the berries and corn. A hint of heat from a diced jalapeño breaks up the mildness in just the right spots, and a light honey-lime dressing gives it the perfect candied sweetness without reverting the spotlight from the blueberry-corn duo. For added crunch, slide in sliced cucumbers and the crunchy sweetness of diced jicama. A welcoming bite, they prevent the salad from taking on that mushy consistency that many dishes with blueberries inherit.
This isn’t a dessert recipe, but it’s not really a savory one. It falls somewhere between the cracks, making it perfect to serve alongside sweets like fruit or something heartier, like barbecued chicken or fish tacos. While local blueberries are just popping out, it may take a little longer to pick up your first ears of local sweet corn. If you have last year’s harvest stowed away in the depths of your freezer cabinet, break them out for this. If you don’t, wait for the fresh crop. It’s worth the wait.
Blueberry Sweet Corn Salad
6 ears fresh sweet corn on the cob, husked
11/4 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup cucumber, thickly sliced (about 1/2 of a whole cucumber)
1/2 cup jicama, diced
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Steam, boil or grill corn on the cob until tender. When cool, shuck corn from cob into large bowl.
Halve slices of cucumber into semicircles, then add to corn, along with blueberries, jicama, onion, cilantro and jalapeño.
In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, olive oil, honey and ancho chile powder (for added heat). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour over salad and toss to combine.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Adapted from Corn and Blueberry Salad, BHG.com