Did you know that you can eat corn raw? I remember finding that out only a few years ago when I saw a girl at uni munching her way through a raw corn cob as she kicked back on the grass. What a revelation! I grew up eating corn cobs that went from the bag in the freezer straight into boiling water… I don’t even remember seeing fresh corn still in the husk! (By the way, I’m not dissing frozen corn… it is a decent option for emergency veg rations).
Fresh sweet corn, when it has just been picked, is a taste sensation. I have been buying white sweet corn from a stand at my local farmers’ markets for the last few weeks. The sweetness is incredible. Speaking to the farmer, I asked why he had cut the tops off some of his corn cobs… he told me that because the corn is so sweet, and they don’t use any sprays on it, all sorts of insects and animals enjoy feasting on the juicy kernals. He simply lets them enjoy their small nibble at the top and when the corn is harvested, he chops off the tops of those affected, leaving most of the corn for us humans to enjoy. Seems like a fair deal to me. But back to eating corn raw. If you can get your hands on super-fresh, sweet corn on the cob do give it a go. If buying corn in the husk, you can tell if it is fresh by peeling back the top of the husk and looking for plump, ready-to-burst kernels. If they look a little wrinkled or sad… most likely the corn will not be as sweet as you want.
This salad is versatile and filling. It lends itself to being served in a big bowl with a Mexican themed dinner of grilled fish and soft corn tacos, is great to place in a big salad bowl at a bbq or simply toss through some tinned kidney beans or black turtle beans for a more substantial, no-cooking-required dinner.
Also, if you are the kind of person who thinks that a salad could never fill you up, then this is the perfect salad for you. Adding the high protein topping such as cheese or fish (tinned or fresh) helps you to feel satisfied and the salad itself keeps you munching for a long time… giving your mind time to catch up with your belly and making sure you feel full. Enjoy!
Corn, coriander rainbow salad
Serves 2 (or 1 large bowl to share)
Juice of ½ a juicy lemon
½ to 1 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 super-fresh sweet corn cob, raw, de-husked, rinsed and kernels cut from the cob
1 small Lebanese cucumber, diced 0.5 cm cubes
1 carrot, peeled, diced 0.5 cm cubes
½ red capsicum (pepper), diced into 0.5 cm cubes
80 g red cabbage, diced into 0.5 cm pieces
¼ large bunch coriander (cilantro), washed, dried and leaves picked
½ avocado, peeled, diced into 0.5 cm pieces (optional)
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp sesame seeds
2 small tins chunk-style tuna in oil, drained
60 g feta cheese, cubed
120 g pan-fried or bbq’d fish fillet
- Place lemon juice in a small bowl and slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking to emulsify. Add ½ tsp brown sugar and stir well to dissolve. Taste and add more sugar if required. It should have a tart lemonade flavour.
- Toast pumpkin and sesame seeds to a golden hue in a dry fry-pan over medium-high heat. Stir frequently to prevent burning. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Prepare salad ingredients as per above and combine in a medium bowl, reserving 2 tsp of the toasted seeds.
- Add salad dressing, reserving a few teaspoons for a final drizzle.
- Toss well to coat salad with dressing.
- Serve into two bowls.
- Add topping of choice.
- Drizzle with remaining dressing and sprinkle with remaining toasted seeds.