Mexican Corn Pasta Salad
Anyone else feel like summer is coming to an end quite rapidly? I mean really, for us it's only half way over technically. My kids don't start school until after labor day, after getting out of school late June. I know that people down south are gearing up for school to start anytime. Even though the heat and humidity has been relentless, I'm not quite ready for the schedule-free summer to be over yet. But I could take the Fall weather any day now. I would go for there being like 5-6 months of fall, 3 months of winter, 1 ½ months of summer and spring. Fall is my favorite season if you couldn't tell. But let's not get ahead of ourselves, August only just started!
What's your favorite summer food? Do you hoard all the fresh summer fruits? Or do you go straight for the sweet corn on the cob, zucchini and carrots? I think I am all of the above. Although I'd eat fresh berries over vegetables any day. Not trying to play favorites, but corn has been top on our list this summer. I've been loading up on it every week when we grocery shop. Sometimes we have it grilled, devoured straight from the cob. Most of the time, I cut the kernels off the cob and toast them to add to many a salad. It's easier eating and it's a fabulous addition to just about everything. Ice cream anyone? Also cutting it off the cob also prevents corn teeth and squirting your neighbor.
I don't make pasta salad very often, I think because pasta is a staple winter dish for us (hello comfort food), but once in a while, I will come across a recipe that I can't resist. Insert this Mexican corn pasta salad. I say Mexican lightly. Hello corn. This pasta salad is creamy (yes, it's made with the dreaded mayo, but let's be honest, mayo makes all things better) with a little spice kick and fresh veg. We're talking red bell peppers, creamy avocado, sweet corn, spicy red onion, and fresh cilantro. All that is mixed with lovely spices and pasta. Yes please thank you very much.
This dish is something you can make ahead of time for sure, I would just leave out the avocado, because I don't know about you, but brown avocado is incredibly unappetizing to me. Mix in the avocado right before serving so you don't accidentally gross out your guests. Bring this to your next BBQ and it'll be the star of the show. Or make it for yourself for lunch all week, I won't tell if you don't share.
Mexican Corn Pasta Salad
Yield: about 6-8 servings
16 ounces bowtie pasta
6 ears of corn, husked
2/3 cup mayo
5 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 red onion, minced
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 large avocados, halved, cored, flesh scooped out and chopped
1 1/2 large red bell peppers, chopped
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, stir in some salt and the pasta. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft. Drain and run under cool water.
Meanwhile, cut the kernels off the corn. Put a large skillet over medium heat. Place the corn in the skillet and cook over medium-high heat until the corn is just beginning to turn golden, stirring often. Once cooked, remove from the heat and let cool.
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, lime juice, cumin, paprika, chili powder, black pepper and salt.
Once the pasta and corn have cooled, place the pasta in a large bowl. Mix in the corn, cilantro, onion, avocado (if serving immediately), and red bell peppers. Pour the mayo mixture into the bowl, tossing until everything is coated. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Serve immediately.
Source: Adapted from Oh Sweet Basil