Corn & Arugula Salad

If you've ever had the privilege of dining with me, you know I refuse to believe that salad is an actual meal. I wish I could "just" eat salad for lunch or dinner. Even when salad is laden with dried fruits, gourmet cheese, and flavorful meat, I still need a little something else to make me feel as if I'm eating a real meal.

However, yesterday was quite a strange day as I started to crave some sort of salad for dinner. Yes, dinner! Maybe this craving stemmed from pure laziness - I did not want to cook or clean up afterwards. I started flipping through some recipes and came up with a light meal for the two of us. Since there was no meat or cheese on the salad, we ate it with thin slices of extra sharp cheddar.

This recipe is spectacular (for a salad) and captures the fresh flavors of summer perfectly. The sharp flavor of arugula mixed with sweet corn is offset by the tangy dressing. The recipe can easily be served from a large serving bowl for a summer party - as I said, I was just lazy and made it in our individual bowls. I think this salad would be a perfect accompaniment to goat-cheese-topped burgers from the grill. It would also be fantastic for a Fish Fry (the Okie version of crawfish boils, for all of my Texas friends).

Apologies for the lack of photos...the sexy plastic Tupperware-style bowls we used as "dinner plates" weren't worth it. I told you I was being lazy!

Corn & Arugula Salad

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/8 cup Balsamic vinegar
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
1/8 cup basil, finely chopped (roll and slice with kitchen shears)
1 vine-ripened tomato (oh, how I wish I were home to have a home-grown tomato for this!)

5 oz. baby arugula (1 plastic container from organic section)
2 ears fresh corn, shucked with "hairs" removed
2 more vine-ripened tomatoes
sea salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste

To make the salad dressing, whisk first four ingredients in a small bowl (or your measuring cup). Cut the tomato into quarters, hold over the sink, and squeeze it just as if you were squeezing a slice of lemon into your tea. This will remove the seeds and gunk from the tomato while softening up the fruit. Dice the tomato and add the it to the dressing. Stir to coat. Refrigerate while you prepare the salad. It's important that the dressing has five minutes or so to flavor...the balsamic and garlic will really meld into the tomato.

Divide arugula between two plates. Working one at a time, hold the corn over a serving and cut the kernels into the salad. Keep going back over the cob until all bits of corn are in the salad...make sure to catch all of that sweet juice, too! Repeat with second ear of corn and salad plate. "Juice" the remaining two tomatoes and dice them if you wish - otherwise just quarter or slice them over your salads. Pour dressing evenly over salads.