Mexican-influenced roasted corn salad
Updated: Apr 25, 2021
I had this salad from the ovens of the fabulous restaurant Glen Ellen Star. This cozy and unpretentious restaurant serves up almost everything grilled from their wood burning oven, from vegetables to pizza to meats. However, this restaurant is so much more than the wonderful food, perfect service from a super friendly and knowledgeable staff and a fun casual atmosphere, the perfect dining experience.
After having dinner here the first time, I emailed the chef and asked for the recipe, and quite to my surprise he sent it to me. The sign of a confident and wonderful chef, I wish more chefs were like him. I adapted this recipe a touch, rather than serve it as a side, I top it on a lettuce leaf and serve it as a salad, this dish is perfect in either direction. The roasted corn is balanced by the heat from the chili, the tartness from the lime and the herb from the cilantro and lettuce. For last nights version, I used a little known chili, the Chimayo chili. Grown almost exclusively in New Mexico, high on the Sangre de Christo Mountains, this chili has adapted to grow in the high and dry climate. It has a tangy flavor with a persistent mild lingering heat, it is perfect in a dish like this one to balance the sweetness of the corn. Also check out this wonderful recipe for Mexican-style grilled corn on this site.
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1 bag corn, frozen 1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2-1 teaspoon of chili powder, Chimayo, chipotle, paprika, or cayenne 2-6 pickled jalapeños, cut in halves or quarters 1-2 tablespoons olive oil Salt and pepper
A handful cilantro, minced
Baby lettuce leaves, your choice Cojita cheese, available in the grocery store or any Hispanic market. Can also use queso fresco, or grated Mexican blend.
Cherry or any small tomato. Whole or halved Mix the ingredients from to pepper and salt. Layer on a Pyrex dish or roasting pan and broil in an oven about 4 inches from the top. Check every 3-4 minutes to make sure the corn is getting charred but not burnt. Toss the corn every time you look at it to mix the corn up. When charred to your satisfaction, take out in a bowl and add 1-2 tablespoons lime juice and cilantro and toss well. Taste and Adjust seasonings.
Alternatively, you can saute the corn and diced pickled jalapeños in a pan. Add the oil and sauté till charred well. Add the spices and sauté for 1 more minute. Turn the heat off and add the lime juice and cilantro and toss well. Taste and adjust seasonings. To serve, add the warm corn over the salad leaves and crumble the cheese on top. Add a few cherry tomatoes on the side. Serve immediately with more lime wedges.
NOTE: You can leave out the cheese to make this salad vegan