Tahoe recipe: Shelley’s fresh corn and tom-ah-to salad | SierraSun.com

Tahoe recipe: Shelley’s fresh corn and tom-ah-to salad

Simone Grandmain
Special to the Sun-Bonanza
August tomatoes are so sweet and succulent that some celebrated chefs won't serve them fresh any other time of the year.
Courtesy Simone Grandmain |

TAHOE-TRUCKEE, Calif. — I just got back from a three day trip to the San Juan Islands where I met up with my high school girlfriends and am feeling a little teenage angst I thought I had left behind me my senior year at Punahou.

What is up with my friends? Bad enough they haven’t aged, are all successful in their chosen professions, and have dogs and kids and husbands and stuff — but I thought at the very least I would prove victorious over them in the kitchen and maybe even in the long hair competition.

Hello! I am a celebrated recipe columnist and I have very long shiny hair (I need a new picture in this column). It really should have been a slam dunk. Imagine my surprise to discover both Shelley and Kelly have grown their hair long and shiny (Elaine’s hair I was prepared to concede to) — and all three of them rock the recipes.

Darn it! Our second night together we decided to make dinner a collaborative effort, all of us in the kitchen, the music going (very Big Chill, if you have seen the movie) and whip up dishes aimed to wow. I don’t know what happened.

Elaine made this great pesto from arugula and walnuts and I was supposed to use some of this on my famous zucchini noodles, the zucchini noodles that have never let me down. I even traveled with my little Veggetti gizmo (try explaining that at the security check point) for this exact opportunity to shine even more than my hair.

Again, I do not know what happened. I would like to blame it on the altitude but we were at sea level. My noodles were a gooey, slimy mess – an insult to Elaine’s pesto. (We ate it on bread.)

Fortunately Shelley’s fresh corn and tom-ah-to salad was so incredible my dinner submission was politely ignored (maybe they talked about it when I went to bed?) and I was able to save face by taking the high road and getting a nice photo complete with edible flowers.

I used to always make fun of Shelley for saying tom-ah-to instead of tomato but, I must say, this salad deserves a classy pronunciation.


1/2 cup chopped red onion

1 tablespoon olive oil 

4 cups fresh corn kernels (so four large ears of corn)  

3 cups of colorful assorted tomatoes such as heirlooms, with stems removed and then halved and quartered. You can also use cherry tomatoes cut in half if they are larger than 3 / 4 inch 

1/4 cup slivered fresh basil leaves

3 tbls. sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper

1/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese


In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté onions in olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Add corn and continue cooking, stirring often until corn is tender, about 5 to 6 minutes. Pour this into a large bowl and stir in tomatoes, basil, and vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle Feta on salad and serve at room temperature.

Simone Grandmain is an internationally published travel and food writer who currently calls Truckee-Tahoe home. She welcomes your recipes, kitchen “must-haves” and food news @ simonegrandmain@gmail.com.

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