Corn and Tomato Bread Salad

No matter the time of year, it’s always best to cook in season. The food tastes fresher, the cost is often less and it leaves less of a carbon footprint. 
And it’s important to care about things like that, because…well I don’t really know WHY but I know that it IS.
And nothing is more seasonal that a Corn and Tomato Bread Salad.
 So we are going to take some ears of corn – figure 2 ears per person. Get the freshest, sweetest corn possible. The whole point of this is to showcase the corn, so go for the best stuff. 
 Grasp the top of the green husks
 and just strip them away from the cob. 
 Be careful to strip all the corn silk away from the cob, too. A few errant strands won’t kill you, but more than that and you might feel like you are eating handful of hair.
 Once the cobs are all husked, toss them into a huge pot of boiling water
and boil to taste, JUST until it is tender. You do NOT want to overcook  this corn. Not more than 7 minutes.
Also, preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit.
 In the meantime, get your tomatoes. Heirlooms, cherries, plums, whatever you have on had that is in season, fresh and juicy. The tomato juice is a very important part of the recipe. 
 Be sure to wash them, and then 
 cut them in halves, quarters, pieces…any bite-sized pieces will do. 
Now dice an onion very finely. You want to use a whole sweet Vidalia onion or half of a red onion. The point here is to accent the flavors of the corn and tomatoes, not to add an incredibly biting or abrasive component.
Around now, the corn should be done. Take it out, drain it and let it cool while you work on…
The bread. Count on at least 2 loaves, maybe 3. Stale is best, but any good loaf with a firm crust will do. 
Cut it into bite size pieces and drizzle olive oil over the whole thing before you pop it in the oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. 
You want to really pour the olive oil on thickly here, because you want a crispy, slightly greasy crouton. 
Greasy in that good way…is there any other way?
Now you want to prepare the salad dressing.  You want 2 parts olive oil(I like Extra Virgin Spanish Olive Oil)
 to 1 part sherry vinegar.
 Add a few heaping tablespoons of your favorite mustard to taste (a fig or some other fruit mustard works well here), salt and pepper. Be sure to make enough dressing…this is a deliciously soupy salad, so don’t be stingy!
Now combine the tomatoes, onions and dressing in a large bowl and toss. 
 Now, you are going to stand a small bowl upside down in a larger bowl and balance the corn cob on top of the bottom of the small bowl. Scrape a knife down the cob, and all the kernels will fly off into the surrounding bowl. This is absolutely the ONLY way to scrape the kernels off the cob without them flying all over the kitchen. 
I speak from experience. 
It takes awhile, but you end up with the most fabulous bowl of delicious corn.
 Now you add the corn (which should still be slightly warm)
 and the croutons(which should also still be slightly warm) to the salad. Toss and let it marinate for at least 2 hours or up to 12 hours. 
 When you are ready to serve it, taste it for salt and pepper, and take a bite of one of the most delicious salads you have ever eaten. The juice from the tomatoes release while the salad marinates and tempers the pungent salad dressing, making it sweet with it’s juices. The corn is milky and toothsome, the tomatoes are soft and sweet, and the onion gives the dish just a touch of bite. The bread is crunchy on the outside but gets wonderfully soft and soaked with that vinaigrette, delightfully creamy yet light from the mustard. This is a perfect side dish for steak or fried chicken, and the best part is…it gets even better as it sits in the fridge. 
Not that we ever have any leftovers here. Luckily, summer has a few more months so we can make this salad a few more times.