It's something - going to the Farmer's market. The seasons predict the bounty, and the farmers bring us the fruits, (literally), of all their labor. The beauty is that it's offerings are fleeting, there a few weeks, then gone for a year. It's kind of romantic, like a love lost, found again.
As I walked through yesterday, I had an idea of what I wanted, (usually I blank out completely, due to sensory over-load), but it is deathly hot right now and I knew that a salad was in our future. Passing by an organic heirloom tomato stand helped steer me in the right direction. As it happened, the next stand over had beautiful ears of corn which also caught my attention and then it was all over, a light bulb moment, I was finished. I picked up an herbed salad mix and basil from my favorite lettuce stand, Maggie's Farms, (out of Agoura Hills, CA. The "stellar mix", a combination of every possible herb, wild flowers and baby lettuces is so good, I eat it straight from the bag).
I have a particular fondness for the combination of fresh corn, summer tomatoes, goat cheese and basil - hopefully you will share my affection...
Farmer's Market Greens with Tomato-Corn Relish, topped with Goat Cheese Medallion
Bag of herbed mixed greens (the herbs really make this salad, so if you can't find an herb mix, buy some baby greens or arugula and add a variety of herbs - trust me, the more herbs, the better).
2 ears of corn, roasted and kernels removed
1-2 tomatoes, I used the Brandywine heirloom variety, chopped
Basil, chopped thinly
Scallions, chopped thinly
8 oz. goat cheese
1 1/2 cup panko-style Japanese bread crumbs
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Step 1: Goat Cheese Medallions
Prepping the medallions:
(Can be done up to one day in advance, covered and refrigerated)
Leave goat cheese out to room temp. Form 4 round and flat medallions, think hockey puck. Place on a plate and put in the refrigerator for at least a half hour, to harden.
Once hardened, whisk one egg in a bowl and place panko crumbs in a separate bowl.
Working gently, one at a time, roll medallions first in egg, then coat with panko crumbs. Once all 4 are coated, return to refrigerator until ready to prepare.
(This should be done just before service, with the rest of the salad components prepared).
Heat a heavy pan, (I use a cast iron), add olive oil, enough to fry in, about 1/8 cup), add medallions and cook for about 2-3 minutes, the crumbs should look nice and golden. Gently flip with a spatula, and cook another 2-3 minutes. Carefully remove from heat, again with a spatula, and let rest on a paper bag or paper towel to drain excess oil.
Tomato - Corn Relish
Heat cast iron skillet to med - high and place corn in it. Rotate every few minutes, it will char and cook nicely this way. You can also grill it.
Chop tomatoes, scallions and basil and combine in a bowl.
Add corn kernels and drizzle juice of one lemon and olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Toss gently and set aside.
Place salad greens on a plate, with your hands, gently place tomato and corn relish over greens. Add hot goat cheese medallion to the top of relish, season freshly ground pepper.
Serve with a crisp white wine.