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Corn, Tomato, and Basil Salad with Shallot-Thyme Vinaigrette

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Ingredients

2 large ripe heirloom tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups freshly cut white corn kernels

2 tablespoons Shallot Thyme Vinaigrette (recipe below)

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1/4 cup fresh farmer’s cheese or feta

2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley

12 fresh basil leaves, torn by hand into small pieces

Shallot-Thyme Vinaigrette

3 shallots, finely minced

6 stems (about 1 ounce) of fresh thyme

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

2/3 cups champagne vinegar

3 cups extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon mustard powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

  1. Core the tomatoes and cut them into a large dice, about 1 x 1-inch. Place the tomatoes in a large bowl, season with salt and let them sit for 30 minutes at room temperature. The tomatoes will have exuded a fair bit of liquid and that is good stuff.
  2. Add the corn, vinaigrette, cider vinegar, cheese, parsley, and basil to the tomatoes. Gently mix with a spoon and serve immediately.

Shallot-Thyme Vinaigrette

  1. Using the blunt side of a large, heavy kitchen knife, bruise the thyme by pounding it about ten times to extract its essential oils.
  2. Place the shallots, thyme, lemon juice, champagne vinegar, olive oil, mustard powder, and salt in a quart-sized mason jar. Close tightly and store in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  3. Remove the vinaigrette from the fridge, bring to room temperature and pass through a conical strainer, pressing the solids vigorously with a small ladle to extract the thyme and shallot flavors. Discard the solids and place the vinaigrette back into the quart jar and seal tightly. Shake well before using.

Note: Conical strainers, commonly used in traditional French cooking to make smoother vinaigrettes and sauces, can withstand repeated pressure better than a round strainer. You could also use a food mill as an alternative.

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