Corn stars: Four summer sweetcorn recipes

There's no shortage of avocado in this summer salad.
There's no shortage of avocado in this summer salad. Photo: Katrina Meynink

Sweetcorn is the friend every barbecue wants to have. Easy, delicious and summer ready.

Farro, corn, chickpea and avocado salad with chipotle lime dressing

The nutty farro grains are a perfect contrasting accompaniment to the sweet kernels of corn and the soft creamy avocado. Go heavy on the avo, there is always a friend (or three) among us who hoards the avocado from the salad, take care of them. It also makes this a luxurious and a textural wonderland – as all good salads should be.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 fresh cobs of corn
  • 2-3 avocados, hulled, 1 avocado finely sliced, the other/s quartered or coarsely cut into chunks
  • 1 cup farro
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 400g can chickpeas, rinsed thoroughly
  • 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and finely sliced
  • 1 cup mixed salad leaves (I used smaller leaves to minimise chopping – baby spinach and salad burnett)
  • 1 cup mixed herbs (I used dill, oregano and basil)

Dressing

  • juice and zest of 2 limes
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, roughly ground
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, roughly ground
  • 1 heaped tsp ground chipotle
  • 125ml olive oil
  • 1½ tsp caster sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

METHOD

  1. Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Adjust the lime juice until happy with how acidic it is, remembering that the corn in the salad is naturally quite sweet. Set aside until ready to serve.
  2. Add the farro and stock to a saucepan and place over medium heat. Simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the farro has just cooked through, it will still have some bite. Strain, season generously with salt and pepper, and allow to cool before adding to a large bowl.
  3. Slice the kernels from one corn cob directly into the bowl of farro. Add the chickpeas and stir gently.
  4. Preheat a chargrill pan over high heat. Par-boil the second cob of corn in a saucepan of simmering salted water over medium-high heat for 5 minutes and drain well. Transfer to the chargrill pan and cook, turning often, until the corn has charred in spots, about 5 minutes.
  5. Slice the charred kernels into the salad and add the remaining salad leaves and herbs. Pour over the dressing and toss to coat. Add the avocado and very gently, using salad servers, incorporate into the salad. Taste for seasoning and serve.

Serves 6

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Charred tandoori corn on lazy man's raita.

Tandoori buttered corn on cheat's raita. Photo: Katrina Meynink

Charred tandoori corn on lazy man's raita

You can simply char entire cobs on the barbecue with the butter and serve the lazy man's raita (essentially yoghurt with a few slices and chopped bits of cucumber) on the side for people to help themselves, or you can cut it from the cob straight over the yoghurt. The corn warms the yoghurt and the dollops of charry butter are wonderful. You will have more butter than you need for this recipe but it's glorious on all manner of veg and proteins and will keep covered in the fridge for up to four months.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 corn cobs

Tandoori butter

  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup butter, softened to room temperature

Raita

  • ½ cup packed coriander leaves, chopped
  • ½ cup packed mint leaves, chopped
  • ½ cup yoghurt
  • ½ cup Persian-style feta
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ​1 Lebanese cucumber, sliced into rounds and roughly chopped (reserve a few rounds to serve)
  • coarsely torn coriander leaves, to serve

METHOD

  1. For the butter combine all ingredients in a bowl and use a fork to stir and mash it until incorporated. Cover and set aside. If not using immediately, place in the fridge until ready to use.
  2. For the raita, add all ingredients except for the cucumber to a blender and blitz briefly until smooth. (You can refrigerate this if you would like to prepare it in advance. It will hold in the fridge for up to three days.) When ready to serve, spread across the base of a serving plate and top with the cucumber and coarsely torn coriander leaves.
  3. Preheat a chargrill pan over high heat. Meanwhile, par-boil thecorn in a saucepan of simmering salted water over medium-high heat for 5 minutes and drain well. Dollop over 4-6 tablespoons of the tandoori butter on the corn cobs and chargrill, turning often, until lightly charred in spots and the butter has melted gloriously into all the corn's crevices (about 5-10 minutes).
  4. Serve the corn as is with the raita or cut the kernels off the cobs – being careful as they hold a lot of heat – straight over the yoghurt and use a spoon to scoop any leftover butter from the grill onto the corn and yoghurt. Serve warm.

Serves 4-6

Corn chaat with tomato and tamarind chutney.

Slice the kernels into the chaat or eat the corn straight off the cob. Photo: Katrina Meynink

Corn chaat with tomato and tamarind chutney

If you were planning a corn eating extravaganza (may I join you?) you could serve this with the tandoori corn and raita, they go together brilliantly. And yes, I have blatantly incorporated that bhuja bar snack cracker mix – it adds the perfect spicy crunch to the corn and chutney. This chutney makes more than you need for this recipe but opening a can of tomatoes and only using half is incredibly frustrating, so use the leftover runny chutney on your morning eggs or lunchtime sandwich. It will keep in a tightly sealed jar for at least four months in the fridge. You can cut the charred corn directly into the chaat or reserve some cobs to serve with the chaat to swipe through the mixture and eat straight from the cob.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2-3 corn cobs

Tomato and tamarind chutney

  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tamarind extract
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 cup bhuja cracker mix
  • 1½ tsp panch phoran, toasted

Spiced yoghurt

  • 200g tub natural Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tsp madras curry powder
  • 1 green chilli, finely sliced
  • ¼ cup mixed herbs, chopped, plus extra leaves to scatter (I used coriander and mint)

METHOD

  1. To make the chutney, add all ingredients to a saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the chutney thickens. It will be runnier than a traditional chutney, but it should have reduced and thickened slightly. Set aside until ready to serve.
  2. To make the spiced yoghurt, combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Season and set aside.
  3. Preheat a chargrill pan over high heat. Par-boil corn in a saucepan of simmering salted water over medium-high heat for 5 minutes and drain well. Add a generous tablespoon of butter or olive oil over the corn and chargrill, turning often, until lightly charred in spots and the butter (if using) has melted gloriously into all the crevices (about 5-10 minutes).
  4. To serve, scoop the yoghurt into a bowl. Top with the bhuja mix and dollop ½ cup of the chutney (or to taste) over the top. Top with charred corn kernels and scatter over the remaining herbs and the panch phoran. This is best served immediately while the bhuja mix is still very crisp.

Serves 4-6 as a side

Super simple corn on the cob with coriander butter.

Corn on the cob with coriander butter. Photo: Katrina Meynink

Super simple corn on the cob with coriander butter

This is so simple but so very moreish. As with any compound butter, the coriander spread is a brilliant blank canvas, so this recipe is generous, giving you an intensely flavoured butter to use over all manner of dishes for many meals to come. This butter will keep covered in the fridge for at least 6 weeks. This corn is the friend every barbecue wants to have. Easy, delicious and summer ready.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 corn cobs

Coriander butter

  • juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 1 cup coriander, leaves and stems, washed and very finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes (or more to taste)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 cup butter at room temperature/malleable consistency

METHOD

  1. For the butter, add the ingredients to a bowl and using a fork, mash together until thoroughly incorporated through the butter. Cover and set aside until ready to use.
  2. Preheat a chargrill pan over high heat. Par-boil corn in a saucepan of simmering salted water over medium-high heat for 5 minutes and drain well. Add a generous 4-6 tablespoons of coriander butter over the corn and chargrill, turning often, until lightly charred in spots and the butter (if using) has melted gloriously into all the crevices (about 5-10 minutes). If the butter seems to be burning and browning too quickly, reduce the heat to medium and cook the corn for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  3. Season and serve with an additional tablespoon of coriander butter on top.

Serves 4