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Smoked Corn Salad

Posted Sep 04 2012 8:16pm

It was a difficult long weekend. Long weekends shared by Zach and I are usually met with great merriment in our household, but this labor day weekend we flew hastily to Baltimore to say goodbye to my grandmother. After 98 remarkable years on this earth, my Grandmother is being called to her next life after a massive stroke. No matter how prepared for the enviable we think we are, we are never ready to say goodbye. Especially to the best grandmother with which anyone has ever been blessed. We grieved, are still grieving, and were fortunate enough to be able to say a loving goodbye to Grandma. We mourned with my parents, shared shoulders to lean on, and visited the water-side city Grandma called home at the end of her life.

And finally we had to return back to Ohio, feeling empty. Back to work today, to the chaos of a job that doesn't slow down for anybody's grief. Back to reading assignments for graduate school, papers to write, and meals to cook. Grandma in her infinite wisdom told me many times over the years that when she had mourned the loss of a loved one she sought out dishes that "went down easy" - light, nourishing meals like soups and salad. And since Grandma knows best, even in her last breaths, I fixed us a light corn salad for supper our first night back home, clinging to the final days of summer in our sorrow...

Please do not let my somber context dissuade you - this salad is lovely. Crisp, zesty, and comforting all at the same time... Smoked paprika makes everything better, especially late summer sweet corn.

Smoked Corn Salad
2 large or 3 small ears of corn
3 large tomatoes, chopped
15 oz canned pinto beans, drained
3 T lime juice
1 T olive oil
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Splash of liquid smoke

~ With the husks still on the corn ears, microwave each ear of corn individually for 3-4 minutes. While still warm, peal off the husks. The corn will be perfectly steamed.
~ Slice the corn kernels off the husks, and scoop into a large bowl.
~ Add the tomatoes and beans.
~ Whisk together the remaining ingredients in a bowl or jar, drizzle over the corn combination, and toss to coat. Serve cold or at room temp, and enjoy!

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