Tomato, Avocado and Roasted-Corn Salad
- SERVINGS: 12
- 5 ears of corn, shucked
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/2 pounds arugula (4 bunches), large stems discarded, leaves torn into bite-size pieces
- 3 ripe avocados—peeled, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 2 large red tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 2 large yellow tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 2 medium cucumbers—peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 3 ounces queso fresco or ricotta salata, crumbled (3/4 cup)
- Preheat the oven to 500°. On a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle the corn with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season the ears with salt and pepper and roast for about 25 minutes, turning a few times, until the kernels are browned; let cool. Cut the kernels from the cobs and transfer to a bowl.
- Turn the oven down to 400°. Spread the pumpkin seeds in a pie plate and bake for about 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate to cool.
- Put 1/2 cup of the corn kernels in a blender. Add the lime juice, sherry vinegar, sugar, hot sauce and cinnamon and puree. With the machine on, add the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil in a thin stream and blend until emulsified. Scrape the vinaigrette into a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl, toss the remaining corn kernels with the arugula, avocados, red and yellow tomatoes and cucumbers. Add the vinaigrette and toss well. Mound the salad on a large platter, scatter the pumpkin seeds and crumbled cheese on top and serve.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.