Monday, July 09, 2012


(I made the mistake of trying to use my new purple Fiestaware bowl for this photo, to match the berries. Huge mistake! It just looks sad and murky. Back to the white dishes after this.)

 I accidentally picked 9 pounds of blueberries singlehandedly this year, an all-time record—in previous outings, the most we’d ever brought home was 8 pounds between the two of us. Then, just to top it off, I picked 2 pounds of raspberries, a new addition to the farm’s offerings. I guess I panicked because A had to stay home sick, leaving me as the sole provider for all our berry-eating needs, plus the friend who accompanied me was such a champion picker (she gathered about twice as much as I did, in less time) that I lost all perspective regarding my own haul and dramatically overcompensated. Whatever, no problemo, we love berries… Except it turned out that A was too sick to eat anything but applesauce and saltines and chicken soup for the next week (he recovered eventually, thank goodness), and then he departed on a weeklong trip to Indiana, so I had to figure out how to cope with the massive quantities of fruit going gradually overripe in the fridge. I ate berries by the handful, and over yogurt and granola. I made berry buttermilk cake twice, once with raspberries and once with blueberries. I made frozen yogurt. I made jam. I made muffins (and put them in the freezer so that A wouldn’t miss out on the berries entirely). I made fruit salad. But the best thing that I made was a new discovery, this salad.

I didn’t even have to go looking for this recipe; it popped up in my feed reader via Two Peas & Their Pod a week or so before my great berry-picking expedition. It looked so pretty that I instantly bookmarked it, even though it sounded a little weird. Blueberries and corn isn’t that strange a combination if you think about it—blueberry corn muffins, right?—but blueberries and cucumber seems odder. Blueberries and cucumber and jalapeno and onion and cilantro seems odder still. But I’m sure I don’t even have to tell you that they are in fact incredibly delicious together. I was so grateful to have something to do with my blueberries that represented an actual savory meal, not breakfast or dessert. The sweetness of the berries was matched by the corn and the honey in the dressing, but the other ingredients balanced that out perfectly. The mild heat from the pepper and the cool crunch of the cucumber were especially welcome. I had no trouble polishing off all this salad singlehandedly, eating it as a main dish (occasionally with a quesadilla on the side) for four days in a row—especially easy compared to all the work it too me to pick all those berries in the first place.

The original Better Homes and Gardens recipe called for 6 ears of corn, which seemed like a lot to me; since I knew I wouldn’t be sharing it with a crowd (or, actually, anyone), I only used 4 ears, keeping all the other quantities the same. The proportions seemed perfect to me that way, so I’ll keep doing it in the future, unless maybe I’m making it to bring to a potluck or something. It would be the perfect thing to brighten a summer BBQ table, fresh and colorful and unique and surprising; plus, it keeps extremely well (and actually gets better after marinating), so you can make it a day in advance. Whatever the situation, I know this will become one of my summer standbys. All the blueberries I picked may be gone, but supermarket berries will work just fine—as long as the corn is in season, that is!

4 large ears fresh sweet corn, husked
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cucumber, sliced (I used two medium Persian cucumbers)
¼ cup finely chopped red onion
¼–½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

1. In a large pot, bring water to boiling. Add corn. Cook for 5 minutes, or until tender. When cool enough to handle, cut kernels from the cobs. Discard cobs.

2. In a large serving bowl, combine corn, blueberries, cucumber, red onion, cilantro, and jalapeno. To make the dressing, whisk together lime juice, oil, honey, cumin, salt, and pepper. Pour dressing over salad and stir until combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serves: 4–6
Time: 30 minutes
Leftover potential: Good; keeps well in the fridge for at least five days.

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