Picture this - a day in September, sunshine, blue skies, balmy breeze - where are you? I have all that and I'm still in London - and definitely surprised. Have decided to send it off with a bang, this glorious summer, in the hope it will come again to spread delight. The forecast is for summer at least till the end of the week so I am having barbecue daily - and that's not something you hear said much in Blighty. Tonight there will be an experiment - a vegetarian version of the usual meat fest. I'm planning skewers of halloumi, cherry tomatoes, half moons of courgette and a chunk of red onion. To go with there will be home grown cucumber with yoghurt and my new favourite blackened corn salad.
Have eaten the corn salad a few times over the summer. For the longest time I only ever ate corn on the cob boiled till tender then slathered in butter. Loved it. But all other corn requirements were met by tins or bags from the freezer. I had always assumed that to get the niblets off the core required some sort of special skill and that doing it myself would definitely result in disaster, or mush. No idea where that came from. Then recently I had some corn in my weekly veg bag and, as bbq was on the agenda, had a sudden urge to see what would happen if I cooked them first then cut the corn off. OMG it was so easy and so fabulous and I have been kicking myself - hard - for not trying it years ago. Better late than never, I guess.
Blackened Corn Salad
Serves 4 as a side dish
2 or 3 cobs of corn, fresh as you like
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of a lime
1 finely chopped chilli, deseeded first if you don't want it too spicy
2 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
While your bbq heats shuck the corn, discarding the leaves and all the silky threads then brush the bare cobs with a little bit of olive oil. Put the corn over the flames and let them blacken a bit then turn to blacken the next bit till it's cooked all around. This only takes a few minutes.
Take the corn back inside and stand the pointy bit into a salad bowl while holding the stalk end - you'll probably need an oven glove - and use a sharp knife to cut all the niblets off. While the corn is still warm add the rest of the olive oil, the lime juice, chilli and coriander and mix well. Taste and add seasoning if it needs it.
Gorgeous with zesty chicken and barbecued pork chops too.
Tomorrow it's Friday so there will be steak, medium rare, with sides of roasted onion & green bean salad and beetroot with walnuts and radish tops. Saturday always seems a better day to do a little faffing, so I'm planning to simmer some belly pork strips with ginger and garlic then skewer cubes of the meat to cook again over fire to serve Viet style with bun noodles, salad, crushed peanuts and that favourite sauce of a sauce loving people, nuoc cham.