Now that the weekly weather forecast is showing every day at 90+ degrees, cold dinner salads are becoming more and more desirable. I've cooked my way though countless pasta salads, and I've started to make more grain based salads, but this is my first foray into the world of hominy salads. If you're not familiar with hominy, it's corn without the germ, and dates back to the American pioneer days. Most often, hominy is cooked and ground and made into grits, often called hominy-grits or just grits.
Eating hominy is it's whole, cooked form, however, has a completely different flavor and texture. It can be found in the canned vegetable aisle of the grocery store, near the canned corn. The texture is pillowy and soft, but still firm, and not mushy. It is great for salads because it's canned, so it just needs a rinse and it's ready to go, there's no need to cook it and chill like pasta or grains.
I found this recipe in May's Vegetarian Times, and made it right away. Not only do I have copious amounts of basil, but I've also got some delicious cherry tomatoes available for picking! In a country where the "know where your food comes from" attitude is gaining popularity, I find comfort in knowing my tomatoes are pesticide free, fresh, and deliciously grown in my yard.
*Recipe note - The original called for lima beans, I subbed snap peas. The original also called for cheese, but I omitted it as well.
Hominy Salad with Basil Shallot Vinaigrette
adapted from Vegetarian Times, May 2010
1 shallot, quartered and sliced thin
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. EVOO
1 tsp. honey
Salt and pepper
1/4 c. basil leaves, minced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 c. sugar snap peas, chopped
1 bell pepper, diced
1 15 oz. can hominy, rinsed
Add shallots and vinegar to a dish, set aside while you chop vegetables.
Add EVOO, honey, basil, salt and pepper to shallots, whisk to combine.
Add tomatoes, snap peas, bell pepper and hominy, toss to combine.
Taste and adjust seasonings.
Garnish with more fresh basil and serve chilled.