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GRILLED SWEET CORN SALAD & ASPARAGUS CRUDO
- 12 ears fresh summer corn, husks and silk removed
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 jalapeño pepper
- 1/2 cup golden or white balsamic vinegar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
- Coarse kosher salt
- 1 cup basil oil (recipe follows)
- 8 large spears asparagus, tough bottoms snapped off
- 4 oz. slab bacon, cut into 1/4- x 1/4- x 1/2-inch lardons (about 1 cup)
- 2 lemons, quartered
- 1/2 loaf sourdough bread, torn into rustic croutons (about 2 cups)
- Cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup basil leaves, soaked in cold water for 20 minutes, then spun dry
- 1/2 cup mint leaves, soaked in cold water for 20 minutes, then spun dry
- 1/4 cup large Parmesan shavings, shaved with a vegetable peeler
- 8 oz. chanterelle mushrooms, or your favorite mushroom, bottoms trimmed and any dirt or debris brushed off
For the basil oil:
- 1/4 cup basil leaves and stems
- 1½ tsp. toasted coriander seeds
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat a gas or hardwood charcoal grill to high heat. Rub the corn with olive oil and grill until lightly charred, approximately 30 seconds per side. It’s okay if all the kernels are not caramelized. Set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile, add the jalapeño to the grill and cook until mostly charred, one to two minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the stem and seeds.
Cut the corn kernels off of the cobs. Set aside 1/2 cup of kernels for the vinaigrette; you should have five to six cups remaining for the salad. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the corn vinaigrette, combine the charred jalapeño, reserved half cup grilled corn kernels, golden balsamic vinegar, egg yolks, Dijon mustard, and 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt in a blender. Puree until very smooth. While the blender is running, stream in a cup of the basil oil until emulsified.
Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
Soak the asparagus spears in a bowl of ice water for 10 minutes. Cut the asparagus in half crosswise, then carefully shave them into ribbons using a sharp mandaline or vegetable peeler. Return to the ice water to soak for 30 minutes, until they curl into ribbons; drain and refrigerate until ready to use.
While the asparagus ribbons are soaking, spread the bacon lardons out on the lined baking sheet. Bake until golden with crisp edges and unctuous in the center, about 20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Remove from the oven, drain on paper towels, and cool to room temperature.
Heat two tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for two minutes. Season with salt and a squeeze of lemon. Drain on paper towels and reserve.
In the same pan, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the croutons and cook just until the edges are golden-brown and the croutons are soft in the center, two to three minutes. They should be rich with olive oil.
To assemble: Toss the reserved corn kernels with one cup of the corn vinaigrette. Season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Transfer to your favorite serving platter or 10-inch coupe bowl. Top with asparagus ribbons, then bacon lardons, mushrooms, croutons, herbs, and finally Parmesan shavings. Drizzle with additional olive oil and season lightly with salt. Finish with lots of cracked black pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve immediately.
Combine the basil leaves and stems, toasted coriander seeds, and olive oil in a small pot. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Once it reaches a simmer, immediately turn off the heat, cover, and let steep for one hour. Strain, discard the solids, cover, and set aside.
PRO TIP: “Use a mandoline to shave the asparagus spears nice and thin. Wear a latex glove and take your time to avoid an accident. Soak the shaved asparagus in abundant ice water to get the beautiful crispy curls. It will give your dish texture and a visually stunning aesthetic. You can slice and soak them early, take them out of the ice water, and store them in a covered container until your guests arrive.”eatatfig.com