herby corn salad

herby corn salad

My corn and sumac salad is one of my favorite things to cook and eat this time of year. It’s perfect for summer BBQs, picnics, potlucks, and even just simple weeknight dinners. My friend Majed, AKA the Cinnaman, recently tried my recipe, and he made a few fun changes, which inspired me to come up with this herby cousin of the zesty original. I’ve been really into this cilantro + mint version, but you can totally feel free to use whatever herbs you have around—basil, parsley, chives… basically any leafy herbs that you can eat by the bunch (just stay away from perfumey woody herbs, like sage, thyme, and rosemary).

herby corn salad
herby corn salad
herby corn salad
herby corn salad
herby corn salad

herby corn salad

yield: 8 to 10 servings
total time: 30 minutes
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PDF to print

  • 2 lb corn kernels, fresh or frozen (900g)

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Salt to taste

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (35g)

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 1 cup, tightly packed, cilantro leaves (20g) *

  • 1/4 cup mint leaves (4g)

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (45g)

  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta (100g)

  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion (30g)

  • 1 dry pint cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered (250g)

  1. Preheat the oven to 475°F (245°C) convection (no worries if you don’t have convection—it might just take a couple minutes longer to roast). **

  2. Coat the corn with about 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt to taste (about ¼ teaspoon). Spread out on a sheet pan in 1 even layer, and roast for 20 minutes for frozen, or just 10 to 15 minutes for fresh. In the last 7 minutes of roasting, sprinkle the pine nuts on top of the corn so they have a chance to get a little light brown.

  3. While the corn is roasting, add the garlic to a food processor, and pulse a couple times until minced. Add the cilantro, mint, 1/4 cup olive oil (55g) to the food processor, and blend until finely minced. Add the lemon juice, and salt to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon), and blend for about a minute, until everything comes together into a dressing. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

  4. Remove the roasted corn and pine nuts to a mixing bowl, add the feta, green onion, cherry tomatoes, and dressing, and toss everything together.

To make ahead: This salad keeps super well, even after tossing together. If you’re making it for company, you can easily toss everything together a couple hours before guests arrive, and leave it in the fridge. Leftovers will keep for at least 2 or 3 days.

* You can substitute parsley or basil instead.
** If it’s the middle of summer and so 1) you don’t feel like turning on your oven and 2) you have plenty of fresh corn on the cob, you can do this instead: Preheat your grill to high. Coat the corn in some olive oil. Place the ears directly on the grates. Rotate the ears when one side develops a nice golden color and a few dark brown spots, being careful not to let the whole side burn. Once they're evenly grilled, remove and cool on a cutting board. Once you can handle them, cut the corn off the ears.

herby corn salad

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my favorite fattoush

fattoush

My grandparents had a cozy pre-war ranch house with a modest dining room, where we’d gather almost every weekend when I was a kid. A couple years after my grandfather passed away, my grandmother sold the house along with the dining room furniture, and as time goes on, the table grows bigger in my memory. When I think of it now, it fills the whole room, with just enough space for chairs to surround it. Every weekend, the big dining room table was laden with the food my grandmother cooked, and there was almost always a big bowl of fattoush, everyone’s favorite salad.

fattoush
fattoush

I posted about fattoush a couple years ago, back when I first started blogging. My mom taught me how to make fattoush a long time ago, but I was new to recipe writing, and hadn’t yet learned how to write streamlined instructions. Even today, I still tend to write on the long side, but I’m proud to say that these days my recipes are so much more efficient than they used to be (I mean, except for when I leave you with 4 paragraphs of footnotes…). So lately I’ve been revisiting old posts and giving them little makeovers.

Today, I’m sharing a new and improved recipe, which is a better attempt to explain how to make my family’s favorite salad. I’ve tinkered with my recipe to make it much easier to shop for, make, and store. Most importantly, the dressing is now mixed up separately from the salad (with precise quantities), and then poured on right before serving, so you can mix up half and store the rest for later (or so you can meal prep the whole thing to make it ahead of time). I’ve also added measurements in grams at the end of each ingredient, in case you’re not a fan of inexact measurements like “2 medium pitas.” But either way, as long as you don’t skimp on the sumac, it’s hard to go wrong.

fattoush
fattoush

fattoush

total time: 25 minutes
serves about 10 as a side
download a
PDF to print
or try my
grilled radicchio fattoush or kale fattoush

  • 2 medium pitas, cut into bite-sized triangles (140 grams)

  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil (14 grams)

  • 3 tablespoons sumac (25 grams)

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (61 grams, from about 2 lemons)

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (55 grams)

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 medium head of romaine, chopped (375 grams)

  • 5 roma tomatoes, chopped (325 grams)

  • 4 Persian cucumbers, chopped (325 grams)

  • 1 large or 2 very small green bell peppers, chopped (170 grams after seeding)

  • 1 1/4 loosely-packed cups coarsely chopped mint leaves (15 grams)

  • 2 loosely-packed cups coarsely chopped parsley leaves (20 grams)

  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup chopped green onions (35 grams)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F convection.*

  2. Coat the pita triangles evenly in 1 tablespoon of neutral oil. Spread evenly on a sheet pan, salt to taste, and bake until golden brown (about 10 to 14 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pita).

  3. Combine the sumac, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Whisk, and set aside.

  4. Spread out the chopped romaine in the bottom of a large salad bowl. Top with the tomatoes, cucumbers, green pepper, mint, parsley, and green onions. When you’re ready to serve, whisk the dressing, top the salad with the dressing and pita chips, and toss everything together.

* If you don’t have convection, no worries—it just might take a little longer for them to toast, and you might need to rotate the pan once halfway through to make sure they’re browning evenly.

Storage

  • To store for less than a day: Make sure your herbs and veggies are well-dried before chopping with a sharp knife. Refrigerate the veggies and herbs in one sealed container, and the dressing in another. Store the toasted pita chips in a sealed container at room temperature once they’ve cooled down.

  • To store for a few days/for meal prep: Store as described above, but also refrigerate the herbs and green onions in another separate container, lined with a slightly damp paper towel (and seriously make sure you dry them well before chopping).

fattoush