This is a popular trio but the salad above was a last minute what's on hand even though some of it looks sorta used up kinda concoction. And it was delicious. I'm an impulsive person and I cook that way too. I add ingredients I believe in and they don't always make the mark; they're not always the exact touch I'm looking for, but here, I'm happy to say the little dalliance in the kitchen at lunchtime evolved into perfection.
I had two dried up husks of fresh Ontario corn in the fridge. I also had a tupperware of thawing from frozen cooked from dry chickpeas. There were 2 roma tomatoes in the fruit bowl. And I had a fabulous verdant bunch of fresh basil with its stems rotting in a vase. So I got down and dirty.
I husked the corn and broke off the end bits that had started to turn brown. I carved off the kernals and added them to a bit of water in a sauce pan to boil/steam. As the corn bubbled up and began to cook, I added in the chickpeas. Heck, warm chickpeas, if you've ever eaten Indian food, are delicious. I tossed the mixture for a few minutes while I diced up the tomatoes, and washed and chopped a good healthy handful of fresh basil. I drained the corn/chickpea mixture and let it sit to cool for a few minutes. And then I tossed everything together with a teaspoon of fennel seeds, some good coarse sea salt, a few red chili flakes, a bit of white balsamic vinegar and a drizzle of good old fashioned extra virgin olive oil.
It was still slightly warm. Crunchy, sweet, earthy with that delicious tang of basil and the mysterious bite of anise. Not everyone likes fennel seeds and you could easily leave them out but they added a whole new depth of charge to something otherwise utterly simple.
Roma tomatoes could be substitued with field tomatoes, yellow Ontario plum tomatoes, grape tomatoes, vine tomatoes. Whatever suits your fancy.
Fresh corn is always superior to canned or frozen corn.
You could add feta or mozzarella or strips of grilled chicken.
You could top a plate of ribboned romaine lettuce with this mixture and then add skewers of grilled meat or fish and vegetables.
It's easy, marvelous, and magical. And here in Ontario we're lucky to go with the flow and have that rapid bring us something abundant each season. And the harvest of the seasons work together so well on so many levels it's impossible not to get addicted to a rhythm of exploration. So get at it.