August 24, 2011

Grilled Corn, Cucumber and Feta Salad

This salad includes everything I love about summer food: the sweet, smoky corn, fresh, crunchy cucumber and bright, briny crumbles of feta. I also love the warm corn with the cool cucumber and feta. If you don't have access to a grill, or just don't feel like firing it up, sauteing or roasting the corn works just fine. I've added basil, cumin and chili flakes for a little hint of spice - not to overpower but just to make the flavors a little more complex. Play around with whatever spices you like, I would imagine fennel seeds, coriander, and other herbs would be lovely in this dish.

Recipe below.

Grilled Corn, Cucumber and Feta Salad
Serves 4

-4 ears of fresh corn, husked
-2 large cucumbers, cubed
-1 cup good-quality feta, crumbled
-5 basil leaves, chopped
-1 teaspoon cumin seeds
-1 teaspoon chili flakes
-3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing the corn
-juice of 1 lemon
-salt and pepper
-toasted or grilled bread, for serving

-Prepare the grill for medium-heat cooking. Brush the corn with olive oil and place on the grill. Allow to cook for a few minutes on each side until some of the kernels just begin to brown. Remove from the grill.

-When the corn is still warm but not too hot to handle, hold the cobs horizontally on a cutting board and, using a knife, take the kernels off the cob.

-In a small, dry saute pan, add the cumin seeds over medium heat for a minute or two until they become fragrant. Be careful not to burn them. Remove from heat and crush using a mortar and pestle. 

-Once the corn has been taken off the cob, add to a large mixing bowl with the cucumber, feta, basil, toasted cumin, chili flakes, olive oil, lemon and salt and pepper. Combine well and serve over toasted bread.