Hostess w/ the Mostess: Beet, Asparagus & Corn Salad
I have this pet peeve about being asked to bring an entree to a dinner party. You may think less of me that I feel this way, but let me explain.
MOST foods, except a pasta salad or potato salad, (which I am always happy to bring), are never great after being transported.
After being refrigerated, wrapped in plastic wrap, wobbling in the car on the way (and always with spillage in my world!), reheated in someone else's oven and dried out, it's basically like bringing leftovers. I like food to be served FRESH from my kitchen. (I have so many rules).
When someone asks me "what can I bring to your dinner party?", my standard answer is "just bring yourself".
I'm not an idiot, I do appreciate a good bottle of wine, a pretty apron or a nice dessert (thank you!), but please don't bring the meal, that's my job when you are my guest (and I never seem to have the right vase for flowers either, what a pill I am).
A few years back, I was invited to a holiday party, and the invite enclosed a recipe, that the hostess wanted ME to make! ha! That's nervy, no? I guess she didn't trust me.
I get it if you are going to a "pot luck" dinner, but my house = my food.
My ex sister-in-law once brought a dessert called "white trash" to a formal dinner party. Click on it and see if you want to serve that after your filet mignon & crab cakes. (ooh, I am a meanie today!).
So why am I telling you this? Because this is one dish that you CAN bring to someone's house (even mine)! It is easy to prepare ahead and transports beautifully.
Ok, so now I will never be invited to anyone's house again for dinner, and no one will want to come here either.
In this recipe, you can use frozen corn, if you don't feel like shucking all those ears, and you can buy beets already prepared if you don't feel like roasting them, but since my garden has more beets than I can handle, I threw mine in.
A note: don't mix this salad until ready to serve, or the beets will turn the corn pink! (you may like pink corn).
Roasted Beet, Asparagus & Corn Salad:
1 bag of frozen corn, defrosted
1 bunch of skinny asparagus spears, ends trimmed and cut into 2" pieces
3 beets, roasted and diced (you can do this the day before)
4 green onions, green and white parts sliced
big handful of snipped chives
kosher salt & pepper
big handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped
3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp of good olive oil
You will need a 12" seasoned cast iron skillet for this dish.
Heat some vegetable oil on high heat and lay your defrosted corn and asparagus pieces in the skillet.
DO NO DISTURB THE CORN OR ASPARAGUS FOR 8 MINUTES. Let it sit there and toast!
Now, you can move the stuff around in the skillet and let the other sides brown. This process will take about 15 minutes total.
The corn will start to get nice and brown and will get fragrant.
Add the rest of the ingredients (except the beets) in a large bowl and toss to combine.
Add the oil and vinegar and season liberally w/ salt & pepper.
I usually dot the top salad w/ the diced beets, so the corn doesn't all turn pink.
Can be made 2 hours ahead and best served at room temperature.
Place in a big bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. There isn't much dressing, so nothing should spill in the car!
You are now ready to transport the salad!