‘In Mexico, corn comes in hundreds of varieties, very few of them sweet. The kernels are cooked in lime and water, ground to a dough and used to make flatbreads of every conceivable shape and size. Sweetcorn is now among the world’s largest commercial crops, although, sadly, this sweet version has nothing like the nutritional value of the more savoury Mexican varieties. It’s delicious nonetheless, and I like to make a warm salad of it to welcome in the autumn months. This tasty dish makes a great accompaniment to bangers, burgers and barbecued meat, should the weather allow it’
Warm corn salad with a touch of spice
Extract from Thomasina Miers’s
Mexican Food Made Simple
Published by Hodder & Stoughton
This is an easy salad. The sweetness of the corn and the freshness of the herbs are both laced with a light chilli heat and a warm flavour from the allspice. I serve this with grilled chicken or steak, some refried beans and a few salads. It also makes a simple, elegant starter and a delicious taco filling.
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Cooking time: 25 minutes
4 corn on the cobs
A slug of olive oil and a knob of butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
A few pinches of allspice
Sea salt and black pepper
Juice of 1-2 limes
A handful of chopped coriander and mint leaves
Grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese
A pinch of chilli powder
Sit the cobs up in a bowl and scrape a knife down along each cob at a 45˚ angle to shave off the kernels into the bowl.
Heat the oil and butter in a pan over a medium heat and, when it’s gently sizzling, add the onion, corn and chilli. Cook for at least 5 minutes or until the onion has turned translucent without colouring, before adding the garlic, allspice, salt and pepper. Turn up the heat and cook for another 5-10 minutes until the corn starts gently taking on some colour and caramelizing.
Pour over the lime juice, scatter with the fresh herbs and serve on small plates with generous spoonfuls of sour cream, a little grated cheese and a pinch of chilli powder. Eat with warm flatbreads.
You can add diced courgettes to the pan with the corn to create a warm courgette and corn salad, which is also delicious in quesadillas, tacos and burritos.
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