Traffic Light Salad

On this date in 1914, the first traffic light was installed at the corner of Euclid and E. 9 St. in my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. The signal was invented by African-American inventor Garrett Morgan, the son of former slaves. (Morgan also invented the gas mask).

The Morgan traffic signal was a T-shaped pole that featured three positions: Stop, Go and an all-directional Stop position (that allowed pedestrians to cross the street.) Morgan sold the rights to his traffic signal to General Electric for $40,000. The four-way red, amber, and green traffic light, an adaptation of railway traffic signals, was invented six years later by William L. Potts, a Detroit police officer. It was installed on the corner of Woodward and Michigan Avenues in Detroit in 1920.

In honor of the life-saving traffic light (and the great summer produce at markets around the country), I’m serving a red, yellow, and green salad for dinner alongside some garlicky shrimp and jasmine rice.

Traffic Light Salad
(Corn with Jalapeño and Tomatoes)

4 T. unsalted butter
6 ears of corn on the cob
1 jalapeño chile, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tomato, diced
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper

Remove the husks and the silk from the corn and cut the kernels off as close to the husk as possible

Melt the butter in a large, heavy saute pan, Add the corn, jalapeño, salt and pepper and saute uncovered on medium-low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until corn is tender. Remove from heat and add diced tomato and grated lime zest. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.


One response to “Traffic Light Salad

  1. Jennifer Krauss

    You “Go” girl!

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