Corn and scallion salad with cilantro-mint dressing can make even the most humble produce sing with an elegant and tangy sweetness, as long as you don’t overcook the corn
By Louise Crosby
I’m taking my shopping cart on wheels to the farmers market these days because the vegetables I’m bringing home are large and heavy. It’s August, and the carrots, beets and potatoes are no longer baby-size, the cauliflower and broccoli are hefty, chard comes in big ruffly bundles, and cabbages are the size of footballs. Then of course there is fresh corn, and when you’re hauling home a dozen ears at a time, two or three times a week, you don’t want to be carrying them in your arms.
Corn season is finally here and we’re getting our fill, usually just boiled for a couple of minutes then dressed with butter and the finest sea salt in the world, Fleur de sel de Guérande. As you will know, fresh corn is also delicious creamed and served as a side, added to soups and chowders, and made into salads such as this Corn and Scallion Salad with Cilantro-Mint Dressing from Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction on the Food Network. The sweetness of the corn combined with the tangy cilantro-mint vinaigrette and salty richness of the feta all add up to one perfect summer salad.
I made this salad twice, once with grilled corn, as per the recipe, and once with corn that had been briefly boiled. Both were delicious. Either route you take, I’d advise a short cooking time to keep the kernels bright yellow and fresh-tasting. On the barbecue, don’t go for a really charred look or the corn will be over-cooked.
Corn and Scallion Salad with Cilantro-Mint Dressing
½ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
¼ cup fresh cilantro or parsley leaves
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1 to 2 teaspoons honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 large ears corn, husks and silks removed
¼ cup olive or canola oil
Canola oil for brushing
2 cups baby mixed greens
6 scallions, green and pale green parts thinly sliced
½ cup crumbled feta or farmer’s cheese
Combine the mint, cilantro, vinegar, 1 teaspoon of the honey and some salt and pepper in a blender, and blend until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil and blend until emulsified. Taste, and then add more honey, salt and pepper as desired. Set aside.
Preheat the grill to medium-high or put a large pot of salted water on to boil.
Brush the corn with some canola oil, and then season with salt and pepper. Grill, covered, until slightly charred on all sides and the corn is tender, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Alternatively, boil the corn for 2-3 minutes, then remove. Cool slightly and remove the kernels from the cobs. Combine the corn, greens and green onions in a bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Add some of the dressing and toss to coat. Top with the cheese and another drizzle of dressing. Serve immediately.
Serves: 4 to 6
For more of Louise Crosby’s tasty dishes, please visit KitchenonFourth.com