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
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)
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). **
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.
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.
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.