Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the corn kernels and blanch for 1 min. Scoop out the corn with a strainer; set aside. Season the water with a generous amount of salt, let it return to a boil, add the beans, and cook until just tender, about 3 min. Drain the beans and spread them on a baking sheet to cool.
Meanwhile, put the onion in a small bowl filled with ice water (which will crisp it and mellow its flavor). Using a mortar and pestle or the flat side of a chef’s knife, mash the garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt. Put the paste in a small bowl (or keep it in the mortar) and whisk in the vinegar. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes and then whisk in the olive oil.
Garlic cloves mashed to a paste add a tasty kick. I use a large granite mortar and pestle to pound the cloves to a paste, but you can also use the flat part of a chef’s knife to mash the garlic. A pinch of kosher salt helps the process along.
Vinaigrettes with a bright edge tie the salad together. To stand up to vegetables—especially raw vegetables—your vinaigrette should be relatively assertive, and that means using a bright acid. Try combining fresh citrus juices and different vinegars.
Just before serving, drain the onions. Put the beans, corn, onions, cherry tomatoes, and basil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and toss with the vinaigrette. Taste again and add more salt, pepper, or vinegar if needed. Serve right away.
nutrition information (per serving):
based on eight servings, Calories
10, Fat Calories
89, Saturated Fat
3, Monounsaturated Fat
19, Polyunsaturated Fat
Photo: Scott Phillips