Everything you love about the end of summer comes together in this dinner salad that is brimming with summer produce. It is full of peaches, heirloom tomatoes, and sweet corn fritters that get dressed up in a fresh basil vinaigrette. A hearty handful of beans on each plate adds a plant-based protein source to the mix to keep us #TrendingInTheKitchen.
[Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Pompeian. As always, my thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep me inspired in the kitchen.]
Hooooooooooowwwwwwww to describe this salad?
- filled with sweet corn fritters
- perfect for peach lovers
- vitamin A loaded (baby chard, I’m looking at you)
- fresh basil vinaigrette drizzled
Some might say it’s a little bit “extra”, but I feel like all of the above speaks for itself:
this is #SUMMERGOALS, no doubt about it.
AND it’s hearty, filling, and 100% vegetarian.
Easily vegan if you omit the cheese.
Could be gluten free if you replace the all purpose flour in the fritters with your favorite gluten-less blend.
Basically, it’s every man’s (or woman’s!) salad.
Pretty much the most frequently asked question I get queried on as a vegetarian is:
BUT WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR PROTEIN?!?!
(Mostly by my mother, and mostly in regards to my daughter’s nutritional status since she’s vegetarian as well.)
I really think people picture vegetarians as only eating lettuce, tomatoes, and carrots all day long and they don’t realize how many natural plant-based proteins exist in this world. I suspect this perception keeps getting propagated because this is what so many restaurants offer up as the “vegetarian option” on their menus. Obviously in NYC this is not really the case, but I’ve definitely traveled to other parts of the country where this is true.
Slowly but surely as we’re all becoming increasingly aware of the health benefits that come with eating more of a plant-based diet, more and more people are looking into plant-based options for their protein sources. It’s totally #TrendingInTheKitchen in the kitchen lately and I’ve seen really fun meals made with ingredients like jackfruit, aquafaba, and pea protein, to name a few. No one was cooking things like this ten years ago, so to see how the food world has evolved in such a creative way is pretty amazing.
I’m personally not the biggest fan of a lot of the artificial meat products out there (I genuinely do not like the texture/mouth-feel of meat), but I’m all about the OG plant-based protein source —- BEANS!!!
They’re cheap, they’re so nutritious, they’re fiber filled, and they keep you full for HOURS. I cook up a big batch once a week and throw them into everything – burritos, tacos, salads, pasta dishes, etc.
Life is good when I have a big container full of home-cooked beans in the fridge (or a pantry full of canned beans!!) ready to be made into a meal at a moment’s notice.
Which brings me to this salad!
Not only is it loaded up with all the best of summer’s bounty, but it also features bits of legumes in every bite. I buy my dried beans from Rancho Gordo because I love some of the fun (unique) bean varietals they have, but pretty much any bean will work in this salad – chickpeas, kidney beans, pinto beans, lentils – they’re all good.
And OF COURSE we have to talk about the thing that can make or break any salad – its dressing! This basil vinaigrette is everything. There is not a summer salad in the world that wouldn’t benefit from being smothered in it. Part of its charm comes from that amazing fresh basil flavor, but the other part is the tang of the Pompeian Organic Red Wine Vinegar (with “The Mother”) that really brings it all together. This vinegar is made from organically grown grapes grown in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy that are harvested at peak maturity so that the vinegar retains their complex (and delicious!) flavor. Additionally, it’s unfiltered and unpasteurized so it preserves “The Mother” and all of the polyphenols that come with it.
So much summer goodness.
- 6 ears of corn
- 4 scallions, minced
- ½ cup chives, minced
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- Pompeian grapeseed oil, for frying
- 4 oz fresh basil leaves
- 2 tsp whole grain Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp + 2 tsp Pompeian Organic Red Wine Vinegar
- 6 tbsp Pompeian Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 5 oz baby chard
- 4 peaches, pitted and thinly sliced
- 1 lb heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 2 cups cooked San Franciscano beans, or other medium brown beans
- 8 oz buffalo mozzarella, torn into pieces
- Shuck all of the corn. Cut the corn kernels into a large bowl, catching as much of the corn "milk" as possible. Add the scallions, chives, cheese, salt, and black pepper to the bowl with the corn. Toss to combine. Add more salt and black pepper, to taste.
- Crack the eggs into the bowl and combine until the corn mixture is evenly coated with the eggs. Stir in the flour until well combined.
- Heat about ½-inch of the grapeseed oil in a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven over high heat. Once it is hot and shimmering, add a 1½-2 tbsp scoop of batter to the pan (I used a cookie scoop for this). When the bottom of the fritter is a deep golden brown, flip it and cook on the other side until it too is golden (about 1-2 minutes per side). Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat with the remaining batter, making sure not to crowd the pan. You may need to add a bit more oil to the pan halfway through.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend on high speed until pureed. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Set aside.
- In a large salad bowl, toss together the chard, peaches, heirloom tomato slices and beans. Divide among four serving bowls. Top each with 4 corn fritters and the buffalo mozzarella. Drizzle with the basil vinaigrette. Serve immediately.
Salad is an Eats Well With Others Original