Summer Duet: Corn & Blueberries
I'm a huge fan of salsa accompaniments for grilled meats. Especially unique juxtapositions of sweet and savory (think peach & pepper, mango & avocado, jicama & watermelon...) Ever on a quest for new combinations, I have recently been intrigued by several versions I've stumbled across that pair fresh corn and blueberries -- two seasonal stars right now. I got my hands on the freshest produce I could find and after schucking and de-cobbing several ears of corn I tasted a spoonful of the raw kernels. Ah, the glory of fresh summer corn. The sweet juiciness that erupted in my mouth nearly made me stop my production and eat the entire bowl. But I wanted to test the power of corn and blueberries so with much restraint I added a dose of the small blue bombs to the mix. The pair visually reminded me of a corn and black bean salsa that I repeatedly make in warm weather months, but my tastebuds knew better as both the corn and berries sang in a harmony of light sweetness. Both too fresh to be tainted by any form of cooking, I left them raw and took the salsa a few steps further. To the sweet duo I added chopped fennel and red onion for crunch and tang, and showered the group with fresh basil and mint. A sprinkling of feta added salty notes to balance the sweetness, and the flavors were united under a cloak of balsamic and olive oil. For this meal I wanted to pair the salad/salsa with a meaty accompaniment. The answer came in the form of mushrooms -- grilled portabella caps brushed with balsamic -- which provided a perfect vessel on which to top the salsa. Tossing it with chunks of grilled chicken is another great option and it is also perfectly delicious on its own.
GRILLED PORTABELLA CAPS WITH SWEET CORN, BLUEBERRY & FENNEL SALSA
1 cup Fennel
1 cup Blueberries
2 cups fresh sweet corn, cut off the cob
1/2 cup Red onion
2 Tbsp Olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
3 Tbsp Feta
1. In a medium bowl combine corn, blueberries, fennel and onion. Sitr in olive oil and balsamic along with fresh herbs. Top with crumbled feta and put in refrigerator to chill.
2. Heat grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Lightly brush portabella caps with olive oil and balsamic and place on grill, gill side down.
3. Grill 3-5 minutes until well done (nearly charred) -- time will vary depending on the level of heat. Flip mushrooms and grill for an additional 3 minutes on the other side. Mushrooms should be tender and juicy.
3. Remove mushrooms from heat and assemble (a generous) 1/2 cup of salsa on top of each cap to serve.