Our kids go back to school this week. Crazy. right? I feel like this summer has flown by. I say it every year, but this year it really feels like it went by too quickly. Thankfully, even though my crew is starting school this week, summer is not officially over. We still have a few good weeks of gorgeous warm weather and sunshine, and I will make sure to put all of it to good use.
One of the things I’m most excited about during these late summer days, is all the produce that’s at their peak. Tomatoes, corn, summer squash, blueberries; so many of our favorite things all ready for the picking.
Last week I stopped by our local farmers market and picked up a large batch of beautifully ripe tomatoes and corn. They were both so sweet and at their peak, so I wanted to do something fun with them to let them shine. And let me tell you, this one did not disappoint. I am so happy with how this roasted tomato and grilled corn maftoul salad turned out!
This salad has to be one of my favorites I’ve made in a long time. Light and summery, but also hearty and satisfying. A perfect recipe for lunch, and a great side dish for any summer entertaining.
If you’ve never cooked maftoul before, you are going to love it. It’s similar to a couscous, only a little heartier. I find that it’s a little “nuttier” and has more of a chew than couscous, which makes it great for heartier salads. It’s a Palestinian food made of whole wheat bulgar and flour. This is the one I like to use. I can usually find it at my local whole foods, but if you can’t, any couscous (or similar grain) would work.
To help add some different flavors and textures, I decided to roast some of the tomatoes, and then leave the some raw. I love the way the sweet and chewy tomatoes play against the crisp juicy ones, it’s a great contrast.
And can we just talk about tarragon for a second? I feel like it’s the forgotten herb that deserves its day in the spotlight. I will be honest, I usually don’t cook with a lot of tarragon, but every time I do I am blown away by how much I love it. It has a great earthiness that balances out the dish so well and pairs perfeclty with the tomatoes and corn.
For the dressing, I kept it nice and bright. A few shallots, salt and pepper, some good fruity olive oil and then of course lots and lots of lemon. I can never seem to get enough lemon.
This salad honestly just so good. But (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) it was almost better the next day. I had a little left over the next afternoon that I had for lunch and it was perfect. So if you’re looking for something that you can make in advance, or pack up for a picnic, this is the perfect salad.
- 1 8.8 oz package of [url:1]Maftoul[/url] (or any couscous you like)
- 2½ cups of good quality chicken stock
- 1 tsp of salt
- ½ tsp of freshly cracked pepper
- 1-2 shallots, minced
- the zest and juice of 2 lemons
- 8 tbsp of olive oil
- 2 cups of fresh mini heirloom tomatoes (I used red and yellow pear tomatoes), halfed
- 4 ears of corn, grilled
- handful of fresh thyme
- handful of fresh tarragon
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and add 1 cup of the sliced tomatoes. Drizzle tomatoes with 1-2 tbsp of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt/pepper, toss.
- Place cookie sheet in oven and roast tomatoes for 60-90 minutes depending on size/juiciness of tomatoes. You want the tomatoes to be firm and browned, but not charred and crispy. Once tomatoes are done cooking, remove from oven and set aside
- Meanwhile, in a small pot, over medium low heat, add 3 tbsp of olive oil followed by the entire package of maftoul. Toast the maftoul for 2-3 minutes until fragrant and lightly browned. Then add the chicken stock along with ½ tsp of salt/1/4 tsp of black peeper, bring to s low simmer, add lid, and allow the maftoul to cook for 15 minutes.
- Once the maftoul is done cooking, remove lid, fluff and set aside
- Prepare grilled corn. Using a large chef's knife, carefully cut kernels from corncobs and set aside
- To prepare the salad, in the bottom of a large serving bowl, add 1-2 minced shallots, the zest/juice of both lemons, 4 tbsp of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt/pepper. Whisk to bring dressing together
- Directly on top of the dressing, add cooked maftoul, roasted tomatoes, grilled corn kernels, 1 cup of the remaining sliced raw tomatoes, and a generous amount of fresh thyme and tarragon. Toss gently to combine.
- Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary, adding more lemon, salt or olive oil.
- Serve ad enjoy
And for other summer salads inspiration, check out my watermelon and arugula salad, and my couscous salad with radish and peas