Corn Fritters with Arugula and Warm Tomato Salad

Corn Fritters with Arugula and Warm Tomato Salad

Sometimes certain flavors make you think of a particular time of year. Bonus points always go to meals that make you feel like you’re eating what you should be on that specific day. This meal does that. It’s got a delicious late summer flavor to it, and all the elements of the dish meld together perfectly. I admit I’m not a huge fan of arugula (too bitter for me), and was on the verge of just substituting salad greens, but the sweetness of the tomato and corn made the arugula taste just divine – so I’m glad I didn’t.

Whatever you do, don’t use frozen corn. While it might be good for hearty winter meals where it’s texture is more important, for dishes such as this one, where the entire flavor of the fritter depends on the subtle sweetness of the corn, frozen just doesn’t provide that.

Next time we might kick up the fritters a tad. The pinch of cayenne I added wasn’t quite enough. We’d do more, and maybe some smoked paprika as well.

Though I have to say that drizzled with some honey, the fritters were almost dessert. Yum.

Corn Fritters with Arugula and Warm Tomato Salad

Makes 8 first course servings. Recipe from Epicurious.

Ingredients:

For tomatoes
6 scallions, white and pale green parts separated from dark green parts and both finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (3 to 4 cups)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For fritters
2/3 cup corn (cut from 2 ears)
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of sugar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup whole milk or soy milk/creamer
1 large egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil

For arugula
2 1/2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon whole-grain mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb arugula, coarse stems discarded (8 cups)

Directions:

Prepare tomatoes:
Cook white and pale green scallions in oil in a 10- to 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, until tomatoes begin to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in scallion greens. Transfer to a bowl and cool to warm.

Make fritters while tomatoes cool:
Cook corn in a small saucepan of boiling water until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain in a sieve, then rinse under cold water and pat dry.

Whisk together cornmeal, flour, salt, baking soda, and sugar in a bowl. Whisk together milk and egg in another bowl, then add to dry ingredients and stir until just combined (do not overmix). Stir in corn.

Heat oil in cleaned skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches of 4, spoon 1 heaping tablespoon batter per fritter into skillet and fry, turning over once, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes total. Transfer with a spatula to paper towels to drain.

Prepare arugula:
Whisk together vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a large bowl, then add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified. Add arugula and toss to coat.

Divide arugula, fritters, and tomatoes among 8 small plates.