3 July, 2017
Just A Little Bit Corny Grilled Salad
Corn on the cob is abundant in the summer in most areas of the US. My hubby is such a traditionalist when it comes to corn on the cob. Boil it or grill it – that’s the only two ways he will eat it. And slathered in butter, of course.
He was over-the-top thrilled when a friend invited us to a Corn Fest on Sauvie Island (Oregon) a few years ago. Living in Southern California all my life, I’d never been to an event like this. The hosts went out in their fields that morning and picked the corn for the party, everyone else brought meat and side dishes. Well I have to tell you, I’d never tasted fresher corn! That morning it was on the stalk and that afternoon, it was in my tummy.
The cooking method they used was boiling the corn in water, however, I watched the experts and they literally gave it a quick dip into the boiling water, and “kissed” it over the flame. Not much cooking really. Then out on the deck masses of people were lined up by a huge block of butter that they just rolled their corn in. Maybe the mid-westerners can relate to this scene but I’d never seen anything like it. Fresh corn dripping with butter, a few shakes of salt, and a melt-in-your-mouth flavor.
The Corn Fest lasted until dark and ended with an amazing array of fireworks that lit the sky. They had the fireworks display in one of the cleared corn fields (fire truck on hand just in case). This was so down-home Americana for this So. Cal. gal.
The feature of today’s post is a grilled romaine salad with corn and vegetables – a nice summer salad that is easy to make and impressive when served to guests. You can use fresh grilled corn or leftover corn from yesterday’s feast, either work well in this recipe.
The ingredients vary for me, depending on what is growing in the garden and ripe at the moment. Today I have fresh picked sugar snap peas, tomatoes, corn from a local farmer, fava beans, and red onion.
Brush romaine with olive oil mixed with herbs. I used oregano, basil and thyme from the garden.
Grill for a few minutes until slightly charred. Leave the root end of the lettuce on when you grill to keep the leaves in place. Cut the end off before serving if you wish.
Grilled and read to assemble salad.
Salad dressing ingredients are simple.Whisk together the salad dressing ingredients. Drizzled over the salad adds a rich tangy flavor. Layer ingredients over romaine, sprinkle feta cheese, and drizzle with dressing. I’ve made this salad substituting gorgonzola for the feta, added jicima, carrots, and/or zucchini when on hand. You can make it with your own favorite salad ingredients. The sweet corn adds a hardy bite to this versatile dish.If you want a hardier meal, add grilled chicken or fish to the salad.
Another nice addition to the salad is a piece or two of grilled bread. I make up pizza dough, roll it out very thin, brush it with a little olive oil and herbs (usually left from grilling the romaine), and throw it on the hot grill for a few minutes. It has a nice smoky flavor that complements this salad.
- 2 heads hearts of romaine lettuce
- 2 ears of corn (yellow, white, or jubilee)
- 2 large tomatoes chopped, or a cup of cherry or grape tomatoes
- 8 pods raw sugar snap peas (optional)
- 1/4 cup cooked fava beans (optional)
- 1/4 cup red onion chopped
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (can substitute gorgonzola, or herbed ricotta)
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil (herbs chopped into oil like oregano, basil & thyme)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- Dash of salt and pepper
- Cut the lettuce in half lengthwise.
- Brush cut side of lettuce with olive oil mixed with fresh cut herbs (oregano, thyme, basil).
- Grill lettuce for a few minutes on cut side only - until grill marks show. Plate it for assembling salad.
- Grill or boil corn. Cut off the cob when cooled.
- Chop tomatoes or cut smaller tomato varieties in half.
- Assemble vegetable ingredients on top of grilled romaine.
- Top with feta or your cheese favorite.
- Drizzle dressing over salad.
- Add cubed meat, chicken or fish for a hardier meal if desired.
- Add croutons (homemade or store brand)
- Serve with crackers or grilled bread