Edamame Corn Salad

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Friday afternoon the brain juices were flowing. A mad scramble ensued. It was epic. Here’s how it went down.

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It was just the two of us for lunch, and I was looking for something else to make for lunch, and a quick look around the kitchen I saw some corn that I had bought earlier on in the week, and figured let’s make some corn salad. But alas, what else should go into said salad? So i looked into the fridge, and all I had was some peppers, ok so pepper it is…

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Next, I looked into the freezer (when looking for food, a check in the fridge, would be incomplete without a check in the freezer, even though 99/100 times there’s nothing in there also), and saw some shelled edamame…so edamame it was also.

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Next check, the pantry, and lo and behold, we had some hearts of palm, and some marinated artichoke hearts. Magico!

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So we got some good flavor combination, and a little crunch in there from the pepper, what more could we ask for right?

Now onto the dressing. I had a half of a lime left over from my mojito (which was awesome), so lime it was, and my basil plant is growing really nicely, so basil come on down!

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Chopped up the basil, and to that I added, some of the juice from the artichoke marinade (I know, I’m so creative, right?), some dijon mustard, some sriracha sauce (I’m beginning to realize I’ve been on a sriracha craze lately), and some red wine vinegar. I mixed it all together, and slowly whisked in olive oil, to make an emulsion.

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While I have you here, let’s talk a little about an emulsion. As you know, an emulsion is something that normally won’t combine together, but because of mechanical, or chemical intervention, is now forced to live in somewhat harmony. Your classical example is oil and water. Oil hates water, maybe as much as I hate the show The Bachelorette, but with some chemical or mechanical intervention (ie – alcohol [chemical] or a papoose board [mechanical]), I might be able to watch it. The problem is, inherently, oil doesn’t want to be together with the oil, and will eventually go it’s separate ways, and will, well,  separate. So for example, if you pour oil and water into a jar, it will be two distinct layers, if you now shake it up, it will possibly combine into one unified mass, but let that sit for a while, and it will eventually go back to two distinct layers. The trick is to keep them as one thing as long as you can, and for that we need emulsifiers, or binders.

Binders come in many different variations. One classical example is egg yolks, which has lecithin in it, which can bind to both oil and water, and makes everyone happy. Another lesser known binder is mustard, which is essentially mustard seed ground into a paste, and it’s the ground mustard seeds that help bind things together, by coating the small droplets of oil in the emulsion.

To make an emulsion, such as an oil in water emulsion, it’s easier to add the oil in a slow stream while whisking constantly, to allow it to integrate, and the binder (in our case the mustard) will allow it to stay together longer.

I decided to make the salad the day before, and let the flavors come together in the fridge over night.

Side point – a lot of recipes say to make stuff like these the day before and let the flavors meld over night, I wonder if there’s actually anything to that.

Happens to be, the salad was awesome right after making it, and was still pretty good the next day, but I think it was better the day before. Could have been because the emulsion separated, or because it got too watery… either way, I still highly recommend it, and just make the dressing before serving.

Enjoy your Memorial Day.

Edamame Corn Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 corns, shucked, and cut of the kernels
  • 1 medium bell pepper, diced
  • 1 bag frozen edamame (I used pre shelled)
  • 1/2 can of hearts of palm, chopped
  • 5-6 marinated artichoke hearts, chopped, and some of the marinating liquid
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
  • 10-15 basil leaves chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions

  1. Prepare the edamame, combine with the corn, pepper, hearts of palm, and artichoke hearts.
  2. Combine lime juice, dijon, sriracha, chopped basil, reserved artichoke marinade, salt and pepper, and whisk to combine
  3. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while continuing to whisk
  4. Combine with corn-edamame mixture, and put it in yo mouf.

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