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!