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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  • 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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lula subs

lula subs

Way back when I first started blogging, I posted a recipe for kebab gu samoon, which is pretty much an Assyrian kebab on an Iraqi sesame roll. It’s one of the classics I grew up with, and my family most often makes ours with lula kebabs, an Assyrian and Armenian classic. The key to a good lula kebab is to add a ton of cilantro and green onion for a wonderfully fresh flavor. They’re delicious grilled (a little smoke complements all those herbs), but lately I’ve been taking inspiration from their flavor and baking them in a lula-inspired sub with zesty banadurah harrah, stretchy mozzarella, and fresh cilantro.

Baked subs are a really wonderful party trick, because you can make and prep all the components ahead of time, quickly assemble and bake them at the last minute, and then casually serve them on a sheet pan. Add a really simple green salad (arugula, olive oil, lemon, black pepper, and lots of parmesan), and you’ll blow your guests away.

lula subs
lula subs
lula subs
lula subs

How to make ahead

The day before

  • Bake the lula meatballs

  • Make the banadurah harrah (spicy tomato sauce)

  • Shred or slice the cheese (if it’s not already sliced/shredded)

  • Wash and dry the cilantro topping (refrigerate in a slightly damp towel-lined container)

  • Slice the baguettes (store everything in the refrigerator, except for the baguettes)

Right before serving

  • Microwave the meatballs for about 1 or 2 minutes (to warm them through, but don’t overcook them)

  • Microwave the banadurah harrah until it’s hot.

  • Toast the bread and assemble the subs, then bake and garnish them as in the recipe.

  • Once baked, they’re best served right away, but they’re still really delicious leftover.

lula subs
lula subs
lula subs
lula subs

lula subs

yield: 4 giant or 8 medium servings
active time: 40 minutes
total time: 1 hour
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PDF to print

  • 4 10-inch baguettes

  • fully cooked lula meatballs (below)

  • banadurah harrah/tomato sauce (below)

  • 200g/2 cups mozzarella (shredded or slices, not fresh)

  • a handful of cilantro leaves

  1. Prep all the components (the tomato sauce and meatballs, below).

  2. Preheat the broiler.

  3. Cut the baguettes almost all the way through, and then open them like books. Place on a sheet pan cut-side-up. Place the baguettes under the broiler for just a couple minutes to toast them (this takes about 4 minutes in my broiler, but it may take less in yours).

  4. Remove the baguettes from the broiler, and place the meatballs evenly over the baguettes. Spoon some banadurah harrah over the meatballs, followed by the mozzarella (1/2 cup per sandwich). Broil them just until the cheese melts and bubbles (about 3 minutes in my broiler). Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.

lula meatballs

  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs (or 1/2 cup fine bread crumbs) (55g)

  • 1/3 cup milk (75g)

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef (900g)

  • 2 cups chopped cilantro (80g), plus a handful of leaves for garnish

  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion (30g)

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 clove garlic, crushed through a press

  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided in half

  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F / 204°C convection.*

  2. Place the bread crumbs in a large mixing bowl. Pour the milk over them, and let them sit for about 5 minutes to absorb it. They should become bread-like and mushy, but not soggy.

  3. Combine the hydrated bread crumbs with the ground beef, cilantro, green onion, pepper, garlic, and half the salt. Mix everything together evenly, but careful not to over-mix it or compress it.

  4. Shape the meat mixture into about 20 meatballs, each weighing about 50g. Do not squeeze the meatballs together too tightly—they shouldn’t be perfectly smooth.

  5. Place them on a parchment-lined 18x13 inch sheet pan, sprinkle each meatball evenly with the remaining salt, drizzle evenly with 1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes. If they aren’t browning to your liking, feel free to place them under the broiler or turn the heat all the way up for the last couple minutes of baking (keep an eye on them, to make sure they don’t burn). While you’re waiting, make the sauce.

banadurah harrah sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed through a press

  • 1 28-ounce can (or 2 14-ounce cans) diced tomatoes (800g)

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

  • 2 teaspoons dried mint

  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a 10-inch skillet for 1 minute. Add the onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  2. Add the diced tomatoes with their juices. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring every minute or so, until the tomatoes dissolve into a thick sauce and their juices evaporate. If you're not using a wide frying pan (e.g., if you're using a tall saucepan), this may take longer.

  3. Add the salt, dried mint, crushed red pepper, and oregano, and give it a stir. Remove from heat, add the lemon juice, and stir together. The sauce should not be too thick or too thin (there should not be any runny liquid. If it’s too runny, return to heat for a couple minutes, until it’s the right consistency).

* If you don’t have a convection oven, no worries—they might just take a little longer to bake, and you might need to increase the temperature a bit to get them to brown.

lula subs
lula subs

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