Fresh corn on the cob and sweet cherry tomatoes are right up there along with garden fresh basil as being some of those things that just scream out summer and sunshine. And summer is all about getting outdoors and enjoying great weather while we have it. Which also means lots of get-togethers, BBQs and picnics. Which is exactly what brought on this very quick pasta salad with fresh corn, tomato and basil. And one of my favourite things in salads: lightly toasted pine nuts.
A seasonal pasta salad with fresh corn, tomato and basil
Seasonal, fresh, flavorful ingredients are the star of this salad. I want to taste the fresh basil, sweet and juicy cherry tomatoes and of course that corn on the cob flavor that only comes with fresh corn. For fans of more than just a summery veggie pasta salad (which also happens to be vegan), I would suggest adding a dose of freshly grated parmesan or chopped up fresh Italian mozzarella (bocconcini).
Here’s a trick to easily cut the corn off the cob
Use a bundt pan. Yes! The hole in the middle of the pan helps hold the corn on the cob in place, and when you cut off the kernels they are caught at the bottom of the pan. It’s that easy. And you get perfect kernels, just like you would get if you used frozen corn. Video: Cutting corn kernels from the cob.
Summer Pasta Salad with Fresh Corn, Tomato and Basil
For the Pasta salad:
- 250 g penne pasta (or other short pasta)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels, cut from 2 ears or frozen, thawed
- 1 sweet red pepper, diced
- 400 g cherry tomatoes, halves or quartered
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 30 g pine nuts, lightly toasted
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- handful fresh basil, to garnish
For the Dressing:
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar Japanese
- 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 2 large garlic cloves minced
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil, and cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.
While the pasta is cooking toast the pine nuts. For the corn, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy-bottomed large skillet over medium heat. Add the corn kernels and sauté for 3 minutes.
Transfer the corn to a large serving bowl. Add the red pepper, halved cherry tomatoes, and red onion, pour over the dressing and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Add the pine nuts and toss again. Garnish with fresh basil leaves, serve and enjoy!
Add freshly grated Parmesan cheese or add chopped fresh mozzarella to the salad for an extra flavor boost.
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