Few ingredients inspire a love-hate relationship in me the way corn does. As a Nebraska-born girl, I feel a certain ingrained allegiance to corn- its sweetness, its bright, golden hue, its utilitarian cob, the accoutrements (corn-contoured butter dispensers, prongs, etc) and the way biting into an ear of corn makes summer just feel like summer. As a sustainability advocate, I resent the way corn came to dominate the landscape, reduce crop varieties, deplete soil minerals and become a secret, sugary ingredient in just about everything! In the spirit of summer and positive reinforcement though, this is an ode to my love of corn.
Roasting intensifies the corn’s innate sweetness. Paired with juicy grape tomatoes, spicy radishes, creamy avocados, hot peppers fresh from my honey’s fields, tangy feta and more, this salad captures the bold colors and fresh flavors of summer. It’s an easy salad to contribute to a summer bbq or cookout. In my case, it was part of my South American Inspired Picnic to celebrate my one year anniversary with the Urban Farmer. As a picnic food, pair this salad with plantain or corn chips for utensil-free eating.
This salad isn’t meant to be dogmatic. Start with the roasted corn, trust your palate and follow your cravings. You can easily make it vegan, and if you have leftovers, add them to an omelette at breakfast to enjoy corn at every meal possible. It is summer after all, and this is when corn deserves a chance to shine!
4 ears of corn, husked
3-4 Tablespoons organic, unsalted butter (preferably from pasture-raised cows), plus more for pan
1 organic lime
3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved
red pepper flakes, to taste
smoked sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 450°F. Arrange the corn tightly in a cast-iron skillet greased with butter.
Slice a few lime rings to place directly on the corn. Squeeze the remaining lime juice onto the corn. Top the corn with the remaining ingredients.
Transfer the skillet to the oven, and roast for 15-20 minutes, turning as necessary if the corn is browning too much.
Remove from the oven and cool.
Roasted Corn Summer Salad
4 ears of corn, roasted (see recipe above)
8 oz organic grape tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, pitted & cut into chunks
2-3 local radishes, sliced thin
1 local hot pepper, sliced thin
~4 oz organic feta cheese, crumbled
1 organic lime
smoked sea salt & black pepper, to taste
fresh cilantro for garnish
Cut the corn kernels from the cob, into a serving bowl. Combine the corn kernels, tomatoes, avocado, radishes, hot pepper and feta.
Squeeze the lime juice over the salad and stir gently.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with cilantro and the lime slices from the roasted corn.
Keep chilled until ready to serve.