When I was a little girl we would drive from the DC suburbs to Ocean City Maryland multiple times in the summer. My grandparents had a condo on the beach and we would drive the 3 hours to spend weekends with them. Over the bay bridge and down the eastern shore we would go, singing and talking. I knew we were getting closer when the fields of corn started springing up along the road. Somewhere between Easton and the beach we had to stop at a farm stand. We had to get fresh cantaloupes (called just ‘lopes’ around here) and corn at a minimum. Probably some tomatoes too.
Now, of course, I live among all these fresh vegetables. I drive past the cornfields every day on my way to work or the store. I’m slowly getting to know the rhythms of the growing seasons and what it means to our economy and our way of eating.
The last week in July is the MD Buy Local Challenge where people pledge to eat at least one thing from a local farm every day for a week. While I did take the pledge, that’s not very hard for me. I do that pretty much every day in the summertime. What I’m trying to do is use this challenge to think more about where I am buying the things I need. In the summer this is pretty easy; In the winter it becomes harder. But I’m reminded of the sign I saw at the Salisbury zoo this morning.
So this evening I made a fabulous salad that used all local produce; Some wonderful things that are at their peak in the summer. If you can’t find fresh lima beans then, by all means, use frozen baby limas.
Corn, Tomato, and Lima Bean Salad
1 cup fresh lima beans
5 ears cooked corn, cold
2 large ripe tomatoes
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp dried sage
salt and pepper
Place a pan with water in it on the stove and bring to a boil. Add the lima beans and boil until tender, typically 5-10 minutes. Check starting at 5 minutes because fresh lima beans vary quite a bit in how long it takes for them to be soft. You are looking for soft but not mushy.
While the beans are cooking cut the corn off the cob and chop the tomatoes. I like to take the long ribbons of corn cut off the cob in my fingers and break them apart as I am putting it in a bowl. Add the tomatoes.
When the beans are done put them in a colander and immediately run cold water over them until cool. Add them to the bowl with the corn and tomatoes.
In a small bowl mix the vinegar, oil, mustard, and sage well. At this point I put a little salt and pepper in too. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until cold. At this point I liberally salt and pepper the salad, stirring it up.
I served this next to my Vegan Dirty Rice and I’ve got to admit it was tasty mixed together!