When you live in Southern California, the seasonal switch from summer to fall is difficult to pinpoint. The past two days have been a lovely respite from last week’s terrible heat. The mornings and evenings have been fairly cool, nearly chilly, which is a welcome change at this point. Many people across the country are already screaming about drowning in Pumpkin Spice Lattes, pulling sweaters over their heads or lacing up boots. We’re not quite there yet. In fact, I think we’ll have a few more weeks of warm days if our weather continues with its usual pattern. That’s why it’s not too late to share this corn salad. At least not for us Cali folks. Give it a try with the last bit of your summer corn cobs.
Capitalizing on the natural sweetness of vegetables is quickly enhances their flavor. Using heat is the best way to do that, so these cobs of corn spent a few minutes under a broiler. If you’re still cooking on the grill, I suggest you use it in place of the broiler. A charcoal grill would be even better. Whether you use a grill or broiler, it’s the charred, smokey flavor of the blackened kernels that you want. A mandoline is your best best for thinly slicing the fennel. If you don’t have a mandoline, a sharp knife and steady hand will also guarantee uniform sized fennel as well. Combined with the mild licorice notes of fennel and spice of red onion and jalapeno, the sweetness of the corn pops. A light dressing of lime juice, olive oil and salt balances the flavors, as well as adding a bit of necessary fat, that makes everything come together on the tongue.
This salad is great when the corn is still slightly warm, and it is still delicious the next day if you have leftovers. The key is not overdressing it with the lime juice, oil and salt, which could make all of the vegetables too soft after a night in the fridge. You can always redress the next day, maintaining the crisp nature of the vegetables. This corn salad is one of summer’s final hoorahs, so go out with a bang.
- 4 large ears of corn, husked, washed and dried
- 1 medium fennel bulb, sliced ⅛" thick
- ½ medium red onion, diced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 3 scallions, green & white parts, thinly sliced
- ½ cup fresh parsley leaves, loosely packed, finely minced
- Juice (approximately 2 tablespoons) and zest of 1 large lime
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Set the oven broiler to high.
- Line a baking sheet with foil, and set the broiler to high heat. Place the corn on the baking sheet, and slider under the broiler. Cook the corn for 1-2 minutes on all sides until charred, rotating often and keeping a close eye on the heat level. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool to the touch. Once cool, slice the corn kernels off the cob, and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Toss the fennel, red onion, jalapeno, garlic, scallions, and parsley into the bowl. Add the lime juice and zest, olive oil and salt, then toss to combine.
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