Yes, we may complain about summer in the South for the heat and humidity, but it's the absolute best time to be in our region for food. The summer brings out the best and brightest of our fruits and vegetables, and farmers' markets are overflowing with the freshest, sweetest, and ripest produce around. A few of the highlights at the market? Sweet corn – stalks of which you can find all over the South – and juicy, vibrant heirloom tomatoes. They're so good you can eat them plain. (And, they'll ruin you for all other big-box-store tomatoes.)
When you've got these kinds of lush veggies at your fingertips, it feels sinful to overload them with other flavors or bake them down. Eating tomatoes raw seems to do the sweet fruit the most justice, so that's where my favorite summer recipe comes into play: Corn, Tomato & Avocado Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing.
This summer salad recipe is sometimes referred to as a salsa, because it's easily scooped and enjoyed on tortilla chips. You won't find a recipe that better suits your picnic table needs than this one. And, it couldn't be simpler. Pick up some ears of fresh sweet corn from the farmers' market (about five ears) and cook until just tender. Throwing the corn on the grill instead of boiling it also adds some depth of smokiness to the dish. Use a knife to cut the corn off the cob, scraping to get all of the juices. Cube up a couple of your favorite heirloom tomatoes, and toss in one or two chopped-up, ripe avocados. Mix a tablespoon of honey with the juice of one lime, and toss your corn, tomatoes, and avocado in the dressing until the fruits and veggies are coated. That's it! This incredibly fresh side is the perfect pairing with burgers, grilled chicken, or any entree that feels a little heavy.
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You may also be interested in this Mexican Street Corn Salad recipe
You can also transform this salad into a full dinner or lunch the next day. Add some grilled chicken and crumbled feta on top, or a piece of salmon and fresh herbs, or some beans to make the dish a little heartier. And, if you're in Florida, be sure to pick up a couple local avocados, too, on behalf of the rest of us that have to buy them from the store.
This five-ingredient summer salad is a beautiful way to show off your summer produce. It's got great texture, a slight tang, and just the right amount of sweetness.