Last week we had a friend over for dinner. Being the height of summer, and in a humid old apartment with no air conditioning, it felt appropriate to serve a meal that required minimal heat generation in its preparations, from both me and the kitchen appliances. As such, I decided on:
– Carrot and zucchini fritters with dill sour cream
– A green salad with sunflower and sesame seeds, golden raisins, dressed with rice vinegar and sesame oil
– Corn and apple salsa with homemade tortilla chips
(To drink, we mixed cranberry juice and white wine – delicious blasphemy! For dessert, there was chilled watermelon, though we ended up eating cookies instead. Heh.)
I made the fritters ahead of time to avoid a hot stove blaring while the three of us tried not to melt. The salad was mere assemblage, and the salsa too. A non-tomato salsa was a refreshing change, and the crisp texture of a Tentation apple (a cross of a Grifer and Golden Delicious) was a perfect addition. The tortilla chips were made by slicing wheat tortillas into wedges and spreading them on a heavy baking sheet. Left in a 350 F oven for a mere 5 minutes, they crisped and curled up, becoming handy carrying devices for salsa.
I think the salsa was my favourite part of the meal, partially because I was quite happy and surprised with my fruit-inspired ingenuity, and because it was a deliciously light and simple way to nourish ourselves on a hot summer evening.
Corn and Apple Salsa
2 handfuls of frozen corn, thawed and drained (or if you’re lucky, fresh corn!)
1 sweet and crisp apple, diced (Tentation, Golden Delicious, Royal Gala, Honey Crisp…)
Zest of half a lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 fresh red chile or 1-2 tsp chile paste
1 small handful of fresh basil, chopped finely
1 good glug of rice vinegar (say, 2 tbsp)
1 good glug of vegetable oil
Salt to taste
In a hearty-sized bowl, throw in your corn and diced apple. Use a microplane to shave off the zest of half a lemon (it’ll be easier if you do this before cutting the lemon), then cut the lemon in half and squeeze over the juice. Toss so to cover the apple with lemon juice and prevent it from going brown. Add the chile, basil, vinegar and oil, and mix to incorporate. Taste and add salt if you deem necessary. Serve alongside tortilla chips, homemade or store-bought, and bask in the glow of summer.