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Spinach, Tomato and Corn Salad

Chopped basil, mint, parsley and dill give depth to this spinach salad. A small amount of ground cumin is stirred into the dressing after being heated in a dry fry pan to release its earthy aroma and intensify its flavor. Use the freshest young corn you can find for this dish.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ears of corn, husks and silk removed 
  • 1 large tomato, diced 
  • 1/2 cup diced English cucumber  
  • 1/2 cup diced sweet onion such as Maui, Vidalia or Walla Walla 
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil 
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh mint 
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh dill 
  • 1 tsp. chopped garlic  
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin  
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar 
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt  
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste 
  • 5 oz. baby spinach leaves 

Directions:

Hold 1 ear of corn upright, stem end down, in the center of a wide, shallow bowl. Using a sharp knife, slice straight down between the kernels and the cob, rotating the ear a quarter turn after each cut. Repeat with the second ear. You will have about 1 cup kernels.

In a large salad bowl, combine the corn, tomato, cucumber and onion. Combine the basil, mint, parsley, dill and garlic on a cutting board and finely chop. Add to the vegetables.

In a small, dry fry pan over medium-low heat, warm the cumin just until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Transfer to a small bowl. Add the olive oil, vinegar, salt and a grind of pepper and whisk until blended.

Carefully rinse the spinach in 2 or 3 changes of water. Drain briefly in a colander and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Add the spinach and the dressing to the corn-tomato mixture. Toss to mix and coat with the dressing. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Healthful Cooking, by Mary Abbott Hess, Dana Jacobi & Marie Simmons (Oxmoor House, 2003).