Warm Corn-Bacon Summer Salad
The inspiration for this recipe came from a five year old July Gourmet magazine that I stumbled upon recently. God, I miss that magazine, with its gorgeous, mouthwatering photography and the imaginative recipes. The recipe was so beautifully simple, designed to highlight perfect summer produce at their peak. Besides summer corn, the other magic ingredient here is bacon, and makes this a more hearty dish. I served it under Southwestern Salmon Cakes and a lime crema at the market, and the flavors worked so well together. Its perfectly delicious on its own as well. If you wanted to make the dish vegetarian, you can swap out the bacon and bacon fat with butter.
Warm Corn Summer Salad
1/4 lb bacon (or 2 tablespoons olive oil, to make vegetarian)
1 shallot, minced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 lb baby red potatoes
1/1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon water, divided
4 cups yellow corn (from 8 ears), divided
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet Spanish smoked paprika
1/2 lb heirloom or cherry tomatoes, halved or chopped
1. Cook bacon in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain and reserve fat in pan. (If you want to make this a vegetarian, just replace this step by adding 2 tablespoons olive oil in pan and omit the last step.)
2. Cook shallot with 1/4 teaspoon sea salt in fat in pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until softened. Add wine and boil over high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
3. Stir in potatoes, 1/2 cup water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced by three quarters and thickened about 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, puree 1 cup corn with 1 tablespoons water in a blender. Force through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing hard on and then discarding solids.
5. Add remaining 3 cups corn kernels to potato mixture along with paprika, 3/4 cup water and remaining 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally until corn and potatoes are tender and most of liquid is evaporated, 10-12 minutes.
6. Remove from heat and stir in tomatoes, corn liquid, and sea salt to taste. Serve sprinkled with bacon (optional)