Corn & Tomato Salad

It's officially summer and that means one thing when it comes to food....FRESH! At this time of year, flavors from the garden and the farm start to come alive. New Jersey IS the "Garden State" after all. With the upcoming July 4th holiday here in the US, it's also the unofficial "kickoff" of summer gatherings and many of you may be looking for a new dish to bring to the next BBQ or gathering with friends. Let me tell you...THIS is that dish. It combines the freshest most flavorful ingredients. Although my tomatoes haven't ripened yet, I was able to use my garden basil, which is at its peak and got fresh local corn and tomatoes at my local farm market. Give it a try for your next gathering or summer evening dinner.

Corn & Tomato Salad


Tip: I like to steam my corn instead of boiling. Just place a steam basket in a very large pot and fill an inch or so of water in the bottom. Bring the water to a boil and place the shucked cobs on the steamer basket and cover the pot. Cook for 20-22 minutes. Turn the ears of corn half way through.

6 fresh corn cobs, freshly cooked and kernels removed, or 3 cups frozen corn kernels thawed
2 pounds (about 3-4 cups) cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 of a medium red onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup fresh chiffonade cut basil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  1. In a large bowl, stir together the corn, tomatoes, red onion and basil.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss gently to coat.

Credit for this recipe goes to Annette Joseph, author of Picture Perfect Parties. Thank you, Annette!

I'm Catherine, a small-space urban gardener in New Jersey (Zone 7a) who started gardening out of upcycled wooden wine boxes. For years, I wanted to try gardening, but didn't know where to start. I got up the nerve to give it a try - starting small with a single wooden wine box that turned an idea into reality. That reality quickly turned into my filling every sunny inch of space of my postage-stamp size lawn and turning it into a garden oasis. I grow mostly vegetables and herbs with some exception for fruits (when the squirrels and rabbits don't get to them first). I love learning from gardening communities (and lots of trial and error).

I hope one day to take all that I'm learning and apply it to a larger plot of land. To help me get there, I'm extending my learning through the University of Massachusetts, Stockbridge School of Agriculture's, Sustainable Food & Farming program. (I'm addicted to learning as much as I am to gardening.)

This blog isn't just for gardeners (although I hope it inspires some of you to try growing a plant or two). The recipes (food & cocktails) in theRecipes section of this blog contain ingredients that don't have to come from your own backyard. If you like visiting your local farmer's market(or even your grocery store) and would like to get some new recipes you can use with the fresh produce and herbs you get from your local growers, this blog will have plenty for you too.

In addition to gardening and cooking, I also love to visit and photograph my surroundings. I feel fortunate to have so many amazing places here in New York/New Jersey, where I live and work. Visits to local farms, farmer's markets, and cycling through rural farming areas help me feel connected and refreshed. share these experiences in theExploring section of the blog so that you might visit through proxy or be inspired enough to visit yourself. 

With very few exceptions, all of the photographs on this site are ones I have taken myself. (For the photographers out there, I shoot with a Canon 7D and sometimes with my Lumix  DMC-ZS15 compact camera.) 

I hope this blog inspires you to grow, create, explore, and try something new. The best way to stay up-to-date is to follow me using the social buttons above, or click Subscribe and sign up for my email newsletters.    

Happy Gardening and Healthful Living!

- Catherine