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Archive for the ‘Corn’ Category

The wonderful selection of fruit and vege at our local farmers market gets me excited every week at the moment. I think this is partly because the summer produce season in England is so fleeting. Asparagus lasts all of about 4 weeks and delicious English strawberries even less. So we treasure the juicy tomatoes, the fat broad beans and the bright plump raspberries just that little bit more. In stark contrast, summers in New Zealand seem to last and last.

When I think of summer, it’s always of Northland circa 1988. The school holidays along with the heat and humidity seem endless, and we’re playing cricket or riding around on our BMXs with all the neighbourhood kids at our bach up north. The other thing that epitomises summer for me is corn. Mum and Dad used to grow corn in our backyard. Next to the tennis court. In the middle of town. Yep, slightly random I know. Of course, back then, to an eight year old, totally normal! And what’s not to love about an endless supply of fresh corn on the cob! We also had a Pawpaw tree outside the back door, so there you go.

So for me, fresh corn means long, hot summers. Corn bought with the husks still on, boiled in salty water and slathered with butter and more salt. Or drizzled with a mixture of olive oil and soya sauce before grilling on the BBQ, yum.

Corn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, what I’ve been doing a lot lately, is simply cutting the fresh kernels off the cob, toasting them for a minute or two in a fry pan before adding them to salads.

Sweet corn, avocado and quinoa salad

 

When I can’t be bothered with the toasting bit, I just add them raw. A few days ago I came across this simple guacamole-style avocado dressing and all I could think about was how well it would go with corn, fritters to be exact! But instead of waiting for the weekend to make my favourite brunch meal, I made this quick salad instead and topped it with the avocado dressing.

The dressing is so creamy and delicious, you’ll keep having to remind yourself that this is healthy. Which is great because you will want to have seconds and this is one meal where you definitely can! Here’s the recipe:

Sweet corn salad with avocado dressing
Serves 2-4 as a light main meal, 6-8 as a side dish

Sweet corn and green bean salad with avocado dressing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients
2 ears sweet corn, husked
– 1 big handful salad leaves (rocket, watercress and lambs lettuce are good choices)
– 3 big handfuls green beans, ends trimmed
– 1 handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
– 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
– 1 small bunch of chives, finely chopped
– 1 small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
– 1 handful of pumpkin seeds/sunflower seeds or a mixture of both

Avocado Dressing
– 1 clove garlic, crushed
– 1/3 cup thick Greek yogurt
– juice of half a lemon
– 1 avocado
– sea salt to taste

Method
1. Bring a small pot of salted water to the boil. Add the green beans for 1 minute, drain and refresh with cold water. Drain again and leave to cool completely.

2. Put a fry pan on medium to high heat and sprinkle in the pumpkin or sunflower seeds without any oil for a couple of minutes until they are nicely toasted. Keep them moving in the pan so they don’t catch.

3. Husk the corn and cut all the kernels off. Add to a large salad bowl along with all the other salad ingredients. Toss gently.

4. To make the avocado dressing, puree the garlic, avocado, yogurt and lemon juice together with a hand blender or mash with a fork thoroughly. Add a pinch of sea salt, taste and add more salt if necessary. Cover the dressing with cling film to stop the avocado from browning if you’re not planning to serve the salad immediately.

5. When you’re ready to serve, add the dressing to the salad and gently toss to coat everything evenly. Taste and season again if needed.

I added some warm, sliced grilled lamb and crumbled feta to turn this salad into a more substantial dinner. You could also add some nuts to the pan when you’re toasting the seeds, walnuts would be especially tasty. A sprinkle of cumin to the avocado dressing would be nice too. The ideas are endless!

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