My dear blog friends, how I’ve missed you! Did you miss me too? I’ve been telling myself that you did, and it’s been what has been sustaining me through the long days and lonely nights. Please don’t burst my bubble if you didn’t miss me – my heart can’t handle it. Do we have a deal?
I could tell you all of the reasons for my lack of posting, but lets just put the past behind us and talk about food again, ok? After all, it IS what I do best. To thank you for your patience and demonstrate my undying devotion for you, I have a fabulous non-recipe to share with you that I made during my hiatus. Hope you’re ready cause I’m back and ready to do some non-cooking!
Disclaimer #1: By non-cooking, I mean I went to the store, bought the things that appeared fresh, and threw them together in about 15 minutes. I highly suggest non-cooking as a way of winning friends and influencing people, but please do not non-cook unless you are prepared for the masses to profess their undying love for you.
You may or may not know this about me, but one of my favourite things to do is go to local markets…bonus points if I get to meet and talk to the farmers who grew the food! Markets make me exceedingly happy, and this in turn makes those around me happy which means I go often (once again, I must take one for the team). Maybe it’s because I didn’t grow up in an area that allowed me the luxury of going to a store specifically for fruits and vegetables year round, but even thought I’ve been here for a few years now the novelty still hasn’t worn off and I will go out of my way to go in search of the freshest produce. I have been known to emit an audible, horrified gasp when someone makes a comment in passing about purchasing produce at the grocery store (I’m sorry if I just offended you. I didn’t mean to; you probably just live somewhere different from me). Does this make me weird?
Either way, the other day, this is what I picked up compliments of my farming friends…
…and this is what I did to make some salad:
Cut the corn off a few ears of corn:
Disclaimer #2: I HIGHLY suggest doing this by holding the ear of corn in a bowl and cutting the corn off directly into the bowl as opposed to on your counter. Of course, if you prefer picking corn kernals off of every surface within a 10m radius of your counter go right ahead and ignore my advice.
Saute up a few cloves of garlic in some oil until they’re fragrant.
Diclaimer #3: “fragrant” is not foodie-speak for burnt, so do not walk away from your stove unless you want to wash your pan and mince more garlic.
Add the corn to the pan, and allow it to cook for 8-10 minutes until it starts to carmelize and until you start craving popcorn like it’s nobody’s business.
So what else should we add to this salad?
How about some grape tomatoes?
Disclaimer #5: Please don’t let the measuring cup in this picture mislead you; I didn’t really measure anything for this salad and neither should you. It’s SALAD for goodness sake, not rocket science. Although, if rocket science was on the same level as salad, I’d be considered a true professional.
Let’s also add some red peppers…
Disclaimer #6: You can add any colour of peppers that you like. Except for green peppers, because they’re just gross. Does anyone even like them? And how on earth could the $0.50 you save per pound be worth the bitterness that they bring?!?! Seriously people, enlighten me cause I just don’t get it!
How about some red onion?
Disclaimer #7: Would you call this a red onion or a purple onion? I would call it a red onion, even though it is obviously purple. Am I confused or colour blind? Please help me sleep tonight by clarifying this earth-shattering issue.
Let’s add some cilantro as well:
Disclaimer #8: You can mince your cilantro, or throw it in whole. Doesn’t matter to me. I minced mine, but the pic was blurry since not everyone knows what cilantro looks like I thought I’d show you.
And what about a jalapeno pepper or 4 for a little bit of heat?
Disclaimer #9: Do not – I repeat, do not – touch your eyes or mouth while mincing jalapeno peppers. I would even suggest wearing gloves. I didn’t, and my fingertips were burning for several hours.
Am I forgetting anything?
Oh yes, black beans! One cannot have black bean and corn salad without black beans after all. I soaked the beans for 8 hours and then boiled them for 2 more hours and voila!
Diclaimer #10: I DID make beans from scratch recently, but these came from a can. I just can’t lie to you!
I think it’s time to check on the corn.
Ohhh hello gorgeous! You’re so sweet that your sugars have carmelized to perfection! Won’t you join our party?
While the corn cools for a minute, make a quick vinegrette. All good vinegrette’s need a form of acid…
Disclaimer #11: All vinegrettes do not need to have green things floating in them, but they do need salt, pepper, and sometimes a pinch of sugar. I like my vinegrettes on the sharper side, so I also added a few tablespoons of red wine vinegar in addition to the freshly-squeezed lime juice, but you can make that call based on your taste buds and pantry. If you want to add a few shakes of ground cumin or oregano, that would probably be nice too.
Toss the whole thing together and taste it for seasoning:
Add some more salt and pepper (you know you want to!) unless you are hypertensive.
Disclaimer #12: If you have hypertension, please do not tell your team of medical professionals that the Modern Day Martha told you to add more salt to your food thus sending your blood pressure through the roof. I am not now, nor will I ever be, a medical doctor by sheer virtue of my love affair with bacon and chocolate.
Once you’ve tasted for seasoning, promptly taste a whole bowl, because non-cooking is a lot of work and you deserve a snack. Snacks in pretty bowls make everything better, or didn’t you know?
I hope you go to your local farm market and pick what looks fresh and try your hand at non-cooking soon; it sure is a good thing!
Disclaimer #13: This would have been great scooped up with tortilla chips, or with some avacodo or mango or peaches or pineapple added. Or served on top of fish. Or chicken. Or eaten with eggs. Or in a wrap. You get the idea! Food should be versatile – buy what is freshest, and make it delicious and personalized based on what you love. The end.