Tomato and Corn Salad

Three tomatoes, Bobcat, by name, sit in the sun.

There are two vegetables that most of us really love: one is sweet corn, and the other is tomatoes. If someone thinks they’d like to grow a vegetable, it is very likely to be a tomato plant. My tomatoes got a little beaten up this summer by tomato hornworms, and suffered a little with virus. But now that the hornworms have left the plants in the hoop house alone, and the sulfur I sprayed did its job on the virus, the tomato vines are looking very green and healthy, but, I notice, they are not setting any more fruit. Shorter days, I expect, are the cause of that.

I picked a load of tomatoes the other day, made soup out of some of it, froze some sauce, and assembled a corn and tomato salad in imitation of one I saw somewhere. The corn is on its last legs, and I have been freezing some of that, too, for all sorts of things, including succotash for which I’ll use the shelly beans I shelled, blanched, and frozen.

The tomato corn salad was worth sharing with you. Of course, it is only as good as the tomatoes that go into it, and October tomatoes, which are very much better than anything from the produce aisles in January, still are not the tomatoes that they were a month ago. I cooked the corn, and I think it would probably be even better if grilled. A little onion, lime juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper to season it, and since I still have a crush on smoked paprika, a shake of that went on, too. I made a lot, and it lasted for days, even improved a bit.

I like a fairly even quantity each of corn and tomatoes, but I think you ought to please yourselves on this one. Add the lime juice to taste, and use only enough olive oil to pull the flavors together. At least once, I garnished it with a little chopped cilantro. So good!

P.S. Between trying to get the last of the goodness out of the garden, and making sure there is enough wood in the barn, I barely know what end is up. My desk is piled up with papers including a bunch of olive ball recipes I asked you for on behalf of Diane Perry, but have yet to tackle. And Mim Hart wrote me, and asked for a crisp sugar cookie recipe. Well, I think it was Mim. At any event, Toby and I are addled by too many hours spent with a wood splitter, but this past weekend, we topped off the supply in the barn, and then did a half cord more for good measure. So back to the garden, and the desk, and all the great letters I have had from all of you lately, just have to wait.

Looking for….a thin, crisp sugar cookie. Mim Hart (I’m pretty sure) would like a recipe. I would, too, come to think of it. Anyone?

Tomato and Corn Salad

3 large tomatoes

3 ears of corn, boiled or grilled

1 small red onion, finely chopped

Juice of one lime, more or less to taste

3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Peel and coarsely chop the tomatoes, put them in a bowl. Cut the corn from the cobs, and add to the tomatoes. Add the onion. Add the lime juice gradually, mixing and tasting to suit yourself. Dribble in some olive oil. Add salt and pepper, stir to mix, taste and adjust seasoning.

Makes six to eight servings.

Sandy Oliver

About Sandy Oliver

Sandy Oliver Sandy is a freelance food writer with the column Taste Buds appearing weekly since 2006 in the Bangor Daily News, and regular columns in Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors magazine and The Working Waterfront. Besides freelance food writing, she is a pioneering food historian beginning her work in 1971 at Mystic Seaport Museum, where she developed a fireplace cooking program in an 1830s house. After moving to Maine in 1988, Sandy wrote, Saltwater Foodways: New Englanders and Their Foods at Sea and Ashore in the 19th Century published in 1995. She is the author of The Food of Colonial and Federal America published in fall of 2005, and Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving History and Recipes from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie which she co-authored with Kathleen Curtin. She often speaks to historical organizations and food professional groups around the country, organizes historical dinners, and conducts classes and workshops in food history and in sustainable gardening and cooking. Sandy lives on Islesboro, an island in Penobscot where she gardens, preserves, cooks and teaches sustainable lifeways.