Making the salad requires pre-prepping a couple of items, but it all comes together simply for serving. First, oven-cured tomatoes were made. In the book, they suggest slow-roasting cored, whole tomatoes at 200 degrees F with basil or parsley and olive oil for eight to twelve hours. I took a quicker route by quartering the tomatoes, increasing the temperature, and giving them two hours in the oven. The flavor was concentrated and delicious. Meanwhile, hot pepper-infused olive oil was made by combining olive oil, paprika, crushed red pepper flakes, and garlic in a saucepan and simmering for 10 minutes. The pan was removed from the heat and left to infuse for 30 minutes before being strained. Next, the corn was cut from the cobs and cooked, and croutons were made with melted butter and garlic. The last thing to cook was the clams. They were steamed with white wine and water, and I added more crushed red pepper flakes. To complete the salad, the corn, croutons, chopped cucumbers, some sliced green onion, arugula, and parsley leaves were tossed with red-wine vinegar and the spicy olive oil. That was arranged on a platter, and the salad was topped with oven-cured tomatoes and the steamed clams.
Fresh corn and clams always go nicely together, and all the other ingredients were like summer’s greatest hits. I always like clams, but this instantly became one of my favorite uses of them. Once again, Johanne Killeen and George Germon did not disappoint. I’m delighted to have another book of theirs to cook from, and I’d love to see a new one from them too.
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