Whenever I return home from vacation, there is nothing I crave more than raw vegetables. Thankfully, the huge pile of mail we came home to contained two cooking magazines full of veggie inspiration: Everyday Food and Whole Living.
This Corn, Cabbage and Cucumber Salad is a riff on the Tricolor Salad from Everyday Food (July/August 2011, p 96). In the original recipe, the purple color is provided by Radicchio rather than red cabbage as in my salad. When I was scanning the produce section at the market for Radicchio, my eyes landed on a solitary, wilted head of Radicchio nestled next to equally sorry-looking Belgium endive. With a fairly steep price tag and a doubtful crunch factor, I opted for red cabbage, which remains remarkably crisp even when it’s pickled. My salad needed crispness, and I could count on red cabbage to be crisp.
It turns out my salad needed more than crispness; it needed pep, life, kick—and desperately. While I’m grateful for the abundance of recipes the folks at Martha Stewart create, this isn’t the first time I’ve found their recipes uninteresting and dull. Time to call in creativity and doctor up the salad. A little lime juice, Serrano pepper, cilantro and Cotija cheese did just the trick, turning a so-so salad into just the thing to satisfy my veggie cravings.
Inspired by Tricolor Salad from Everday Food (July/Aug 2011, p 96)
¼ cup lime juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 Serrano pepper, finely diced
½ head small red cabbage, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups corn kernels (from about 3 ears)
½ English cucumber, sliced into ¼-inch thick half moons or quarters
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
freshly ground black pepper
½ cup crumbled Queso Fresco or Cotija cheese
Make the Corn, Cabbage and Cucumber Salad
Combine the lime juice, olive oil and Serrano pepper in a small bowl or cup. In a large bowl, toss together the cabbage, corn kernels, cucumber slices and cilantro. Drizzle the dressing over the top, mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle Queso Fresco or Cotija cheese over the top just before serving.