This has so far been the Summer of thunderstorms. Every other night blue and purple clouds whip to ever ballooning peaks through sunset pink sky, crackling with electricity. Last night we sat outside in the dark just to watch the far-off light show as it rolled in our direction. I sleep covered only by a cool sheet and sense the flashes of light through my closed eyes. I feel the water in the air through the barely cracked window. It makes for pleasant morning walks to the yoga classes I take and teach. The flowers along my walk are in love with everything. My sandals get sopping wet with dew and my shoulders warmed with sun. The rain scrubs everything clean. Everything smells of steam, fresh earth, blooming.
As this sleepy Summer hits its stride, I’m finding my body prefers eating 100% plant based. Fresh, juicy vegetables and fruit plucked straight from the branch. Raw sweet bicolor corn shucked and shaved and mixed straight up with a simple, spicy dressing, aromatic thai and genovese basil, and lots of beans, tomatoes, and avocado. All I crave is cool salads and smoothies and unsweet iced tea with loads of mint. Anything to cool my body down, balance my system, bring my mind clarity and focus.
So I’m listening. Listening to the signs that I need more water, more greens, more avocado (there’s never enough). Summer is when I really go overboard on some of my favorite things: avocado, coconut everything, and fresh juicy fruits. I turn the obsession level up to 11. Because I like to improvise in the kitch I’m always coming up with new dishes; finding new ways to eat my favorite foods and celebrate seasonal foods when they’re at their prime. Thanks to the earths rotation aka more natural light I’m planning on sharing a lot more of the everyday eats Logan and I nosh on for dinner. This salad is just one of the bountiful meals I’m digging on right now. (I’m also loving this balsamic roasted asparagus salad, this moroccan-ish sweet potato sunshine salad, and this grilled summer squash salad!)
This succotash whips up in a snap and suits for a Summer supper sitting out on the porch with a giant jug of iced chai. Also, it’s pretty fun to say. Spicy basil summer succotash, spicy basil summer succotash…
- 2 ears raw sweet corn, shaved of their kernels (about 1.5 cups kernels)
- 1 large cucumber, chopped evenly
- 1 large or 3 small heirloom tomatoes, sliced into wedges
- 2 cups cooked garbanzo beans (1 can cooked)
- 1 ripe avocado, flesh cut into cubes
- 1 cup packed basil, chopped (I used a mix of Thai and Italian varieties), plus a few more leaves to garnish
- juice of 1.5 lemons (about 3 tablespoons)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon raw, mild honey (maple syrup if strict vegan)
- 1-2 tablespoons your favorite hot sauce (I used Trader Joes Jalepeno Hot Sauce but I also recommend Cholulas Original hot sauce -- the heat in this salad depends on your preference so taste as you go)
- 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt, plus more to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
- Combine the raw corn kernels, cucumber, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, avocado and chopped basil and toss to mix everything together.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, honey, and hot sauce. Pour the dressing over the bowl of veg and toss to combine.
- Add salt, tasting as you go, until you reach your desired saltiness.
- Add black pepper. Toss again.
- Let everything marinate together for about 15-20 minutes. I find this really amplifies the flavor and gives the salad a cohesion. It's even better the next day! If you're making this salad ahead of time, omit the avocado until right before you're ready to serve it.
- Garnish with more basil to serve. Serve cool or at room temperature.