6 ears of sweet corn, husked and silk removed*
2 cups multi-colored cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
1/2 cup thinly-sliced red torpedo onion or regular red onion, cut in half and thinly-sliced
1 avocado peeled, pitted, cut into cubes**
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade***
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt and freshly-ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
* Fully ripe sweet corn has bright green, moist husks. The silk should be stiff, dark and moist. You should be able to feel individual kernels by pressing gently against the husk. As soon as corn is picked, its sugar begins is gradual conversion to starch, which reduces the corn's natural sweetness. Corn will lose 25% or more of its sugar within 25 hours after harvesting it. Fresh corn, if possible, should be cooked and served the day it is picked or purchased.
** Avocados - Test for ripeness by cradling an avocado gently in your hand. Ripe fruit will yield will be firm, yet will yield to gentle pressure. If pressing leaves a dent, the avocado is very ripe and suitable for mashing. They are best served at room temperature.
*** To make chiffonade: Stack basil leaves, then cut across the stack to make small "ribbons."
Light a barbecue grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the corn lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill over moderately high heat until charred in spots but still slightly crisp, approximately 7 minutes. Learn How To Grill Corn On The Cob.
Let the corn cool slightly and then cut the kernels from the cobs. Scrape the corn kernels from the ears of corn by using a sharp kitchen knife and a large cutting board. Cut off the stem end to give a flat base. Hold the ear, tip end up, then cut downward, removing a few rows at a time)
In a large bowl, gently combine the corn kernels, cherry tomatoes, onion, avocado, and basil leaves; set aside.
In a small bowl, mix together the Champagne vinegar, Dijon mustard, olive oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper; whisk until well blended. Taste and adjust salt and pepper, if necessary.
Just before serving, toss salad ingredients with the Champagne Vinegar Dressing. Taste for seasonings and serve cold or at room temperature. Garnish with basil leaves.
Makes 6 servings.