So it’s fun to cook and all but when you’re twenty-something, living in a small apartment, and working non-stop… it’s hard to find the time to eat, let alone cook! And when you do finally make the effort (Sunday night activity?), and find a recipe you like, and whip up your dinner, you inevitably have all these leftover ingredients. Half an onion, maybe one tomato, that dang fennel bulb that Binny made you buy for the gazpacho and you only used a third of it. These things sit in your fridge until eventually they shrivel into a dried mound and you throw them out a few weeks (months?) later.
Well, taking a page out of my Mom’s book (she’s a leftovers wizard), I decided to make a dish using only the leftovers from my previous posts. I had some corn and red onion leftover from the shrimp and orzo shenanigans, plus a tomato I never used for the tomato jam. And I had that dang fennel bulb.
A small digression: my death-row meal (yes, I’ve already decided) is corn-on-the-cob with a tomato salad, and I’ll tell you why. Aside from the tomato & corn fantasia, the best part is that post-meal buttery, vinaigrette-y mess on the plate – you’re crazy if you don’t mop it up with a piece of crusty bread. I decided that I could recreate this phenomenon of deliciousness with corn and tomatoes on toast.
Throw together your corn kernels, some shaved red onion and fennel, and slice up some tomatoes. Toss this in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a ½ teaspoon of red wine vinegar (mix the vinegar and oil together before pouring it over the corn, etc). You can add a pinch of Maldon Sea Salt, the coolest salt in school. It’s flakey, crusty, available at any Whole Foods. If you haven’t tried Maldon Sea Salt, you haven’t lived.
I decided to “go the extra mile” (I’m a huge loser) and make a fennel tops vinaigrette using some chopped fennel tops (the feathery green part), white wine vinegar, and grapeseed oil. Wiz up the fennel tops and the vinegar in a Cuisinart with some salt, and then slowly drizzle in your oil. Easy Peasy.
Toast a piece of bread—whatever you have in the fridge—and butter it. Top it with your corn & tomatoes mix and be sure to pour on all the residual juice. I topped this with some sliced basil from my herb box and the fennel vinaigrette. Sprinkle with Maldon if it needs it, and tuck in.
(These are not set-in-stone amounts—use what you have!)
- ½ cup of corn off the cob
- 1 sliced tomato
- ⅓ cup shaved fennel bulb
- ¼ cup shaved red onion
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon red wine vinegar
- Slice of good bread
- Sliced basil
- Maldon sea salt
For the dressing:
- ½ cup chopped fennel tops
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- ½ cup grapeseed oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Fresh ground pepper