This week we’ve had a bit of an overload of corn! After success in my garden last summer, I’ve planted more in Spring and now it’s all ready at once and, as well, without thinking too clearly, I bought some in the weekend from Dragon and Jason!! I suppose I could freeze some but I doubt I’ll get round to it. Instead nearly every lunch and/or dinner includes corn in various ways. It’s funny because for the rest of the year we hardly ever eat it.
One of the easiest and tastiest ways to cook it, other than boiling, is grilling on the barbecue. Sometimes I peel back the husk and remove the silky beard and other times I just peel that all off before putting it on the grill. Sometimes I parboil it first, other times not. Our favourite way to grill it is by first mixing together equal quantities of miso paste and softened butter with a dash of soy sauce, some crushed garlic, a little salt and pepper. Smear that all over each husk of corn and grill. This is so good!!
Last night I made a salsa to go with the fried fish I made in the recipe below. Apart from the corn, the ingredients came from stallholders. I boiled the corn for 2-3 minutes and, once it had cooled a little, I sliced off the kernels. In a bowl I added a whole mango that I’d peeled and diced, a couple of Jason’s heirloom tomatoes, de-seeded and chopped, a Lebanese cucumber from Fresh Gardens, de-seeded and chopped, one of Terry Lister’s red onions, very finely sliced and soaked in iced water before being added to the salsa, a finely chopped red chilli and finely chopped coriander from Fresh Gardens. I added the juice of a couple of limes (lemon would be fine), salt and pepper and a good drizzle of olive oil. If I hadn’t had the mango from Jason I would have added avocado from Terry.
Lunch the day before also included fresh corn, this time in a salad with deep purple Maori potatoes that I’d bought from Jason. He doesn’t have them every week but when he does I always buy them. Again it was one of those salads that just came together using ingredients that I had on hand. In a salad that’s forming a major part of a meal I like to have a mix of cooked and raw vegetables, some toasted seeds or nuts, a touch something oniony, often a hint of chilli and always fresh herbs. In this salad I included my home grown corn, halved cherry tomatoes and finely chopped herbs, Maori potatoes, snow peas, okra and chilli from Jason, purple pepper from Dragon, finely chopped spring onions and microgreens from Fresh Gardens, and walnuts from The Vanilla Man.
Firstly I whisked together the dressing using extra virgin olive oil from Barry of River Estate, a dash a red wine vinegar, some balsamic vinegar from Aceto, a clove of crushed garlic, a good splodge of pomegranate dressing from Tahsin, a teaspoon of Dijon mustard and salt and pepper. When making a dressing always taste to decide if you need to add more of any of the ingredients. Scrub the Maori potatoes and boil in lightly salted water until cooked. Drain and once cool enough cut them into pieces and return these to the pot. Add some of the dressing as well as a bit extra olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the vegetables. Grill the corn on the BBQ or boil it and slice off the kernels. I like to de-seed and slice the peppers and cook them in a pan in a little olive oil and a dash of balsamic till soft and brown. Okra is best grilled or cooked dry in a medium/hot pan until it starts to look a bit charred. Blanched green beans are a good replacement. I sometimes quickly blanch the snow peas but mostly leave them raw. I always toast the seeds or nuts and finely chop the spring onions, chilli (optional) and fresh herbs.
I find it’s easiest to assemble the salad on a large platter gently tossing together the ingredients with your hands drizzling over a little dressing and once everything is mixed, adding the rest. We had this with one of our rotisserie chickens while Frances had it with some of Billy’s smoked salmon. It was great with both.