I need to sneak this one in before prime grilling season comes to an end… I can’t believe summer is almost over! The tomatoes and corn at Central Market are so beautiful right now that I just had to find a way to work them into my menu for the week. Tomatoes Stuffed with Grilled Corn Salad from the July/August 2006 issue of Everyday Food seemed like a tasty way to go.
The first part of this recipe involves grilling corn in its husk. Knowing now what I didn’t know then, I can’t say I recommend doing this indoors with a grill pan. If you have an outdoor grill, though, fire it up!
First, I had to prepare 3 ears of corn for grilling. I pulled back the corn husks, leaving them attached at the base of the ears. I removed and discarded the corn silk, pulled the husks back over the corn, and then soaked the ears in a large bowl of cold water for 10 minutes. (This helps to ensure that the husks won’t ignite on the grill.)
While the corn soaked, I cut off and discarded the top third of 4 beefsteak tomatoes. Using a paring knife, I cut around the walls of the tomatoes to loosen the flesh. I gently scooped out and discarded the seeds. Next, I used a melon baller to scoop out the tomato interiors, leaving the wall intact. I coarsely chopped the interiors and transferred them to a large bowl.
After brushing it with olive oil, I heated my grill pan over high heat. I drained the corn and arranged the ears in the grill pan. I covered the pan with a skillet lid and cooked the corn, turning occasionally with tongs, until the husks were slightly charred and the corn was tender (15 minutes). This kicks up quite a bit of smoke indoors, which is why I recommend doing this step outside if you can. Meanwhile, I cooked three slices of bacon in a skillet and then set them aside to cool.
When the corn was ready to go, I removed it from the grill pan. Using a kitchen towel, I held the base of the hot corn, peeled back the husks, and used a sharp knife to cut the corn kernels from the cob. I added the corn to the bowl of tomatoes.
Finally, I added 1/2 cup of chopped scallions, 1/2 cup of crumbled soft goat cheese (minus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling), 1 tablespoon of white-wine vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the corn and tomatoes. I seasoned with salt and pepper and tossed the mixture gently to combine. I spooned the corn salad back into the hollowed tomatoes (I had more salad than would fit in the tomatoes), sprinkled them with the remaining goat cheese, and then crumbled the cooked bacon over the top to serve.
I thought the tomatoes and salad were just delicious, but this recipe is definitely for goat cheese lovers only. If you’re not a goat cheese fan, I think feta or Gorgonzola would be good substitutions. The bacon is listed as an optional ingredient in the original recipe, but I think it added depth to the flavor of the dish. I wouldn’t go without it!
TIPS: Next time, I’m going to put the chopped tomato flesh in a colander to drain while the corn grills. I ended up with a lot of moisture, which (in combination with the heat from the corn) basically caused the goat cheese to melt and form a sauce. I’d rather have things a bit chunkier.
Also, I recently discovered that Central Market sells applewood-smoked bacon by the slice at the meat counter. I loved the convenience of being able to buy just the amount I needed. If you’re like us and you struggle to finish an entire package, you might check your local store to see if bacon by the slice is an option.
Recipe link: Tomatoes Stuffed with Grilled Corn Salad