Local sweet corn is one of Ontario’s most beloved summer foods. People were literally fighting over cobs of corn at the supermarket the other day, and today when I went back, there was no more. I actually had to go to another store in another area to find more corn.
The corn we buy is largely the peaches and cream variety, with a mix of white and yellow kernels. I prefer to buy it from the farmstand down the street from my work; the corn is freshly picked and sold that day or the next.
I’ve been wanting to do a weeklong series of one food for a long time, and I decided that since sweet corn is here now, I would do a #weekofcorn.
I’ve developed five original recipes using fresh Ontario sweet corn, and I’ll be publishing one recipe each day this week.
Today we’re starting with a composed salad with raw corn, BBQ salmon, and chipotle dressing. My mom always told us that raw corn would give us a stomach ache because it’s hard to digest, but scraping the kernels off the cob and using them raw in a salad has never made me anything but happy. If you’ve never tried raw corn, now’s your chance. The kernels are crisp and sweet, and they pair magnificently with another summer favorite, BBQ salmon. Topped with my chipotle dressing, this salad is gorgeous to serve and incredibly delicious and light to eat.
Composed salads are salads that are artfully arranged on a plate by ingredient. They’re always impressive to serve because they’re so beautiful.
I served this salad on a platter with the ingredients in rows like a cob salad; at the table, I tossed the dressing in once everyone had seen the platter.
The recipe below is merely a guide; use whatever vegetables you have in the house. Anything goes in this salad (but the corn, of course, is non-negotiable!)
3 large cobs of raw fresh sweet corn
2 hearts of romaine, washed and torn into small pieces
¾ avocado, cubed
½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup cilantro, washed and trimmed
1 cup of black beans – I recommend my recipe, which you can prepare in advance, or you can use rinsed canned unseasoned beans. You can also use unseasoned chickpeas.
1lb fresh salmon
1 clove garlic, crushed
Salt to taste
Preheat the BBQ to high heat.
Place the salmon on a foil BBQ tray and rub with garlic and salt to taste. Place on the BBQ and cook at high heat for around 15-20 minutes or until desired doneness is reached. Remove from the BBQ and set in the refrigerator to cool. Once cooled, break into chunks.
Placing a cob of corn on its end on a cutting board, run a sharp knife down the cob to slice off the kernels. Repeat with each of the 3 cobs. Put the raw kernels in a dish and set aside.
Assemble the salad:
On a platter, lay the romaine pieces down first as a bed for the other ingredients. Working in rows, lay down the other ingredients, including the cooled salmon.
Make the dressing:
1 cup mayonnaise or Greek yogurt (or ½ mayo and ½ yogurt)
1 cup buttermilk
3 small cloves of garlic, crushed
1t chipotle pepper powder
Juice of 1 lime
Combine the above ingredients in a food processor and process until blended and smooth.
Toss the salad with the dressing and serve.
You’ll have dressing left over, because this recipe makes 2 cups worth. This is a good thing.