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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Grilled Corn, Halloumi, Peppery Mushroom and Walnut Salad

Inspiration:  Corn season and the best time of the year at the market for fresh veggies!

There are many different ways to cook fresh corn:  

1.  When I am in town and don't have access to a grill, I cook them in the microwave, husks on, for 5 minutes and then allow them to continue cooking in their husks (they will continue to cook from the steam that is being produced) for an additional 5 minutes.

2.  Otherwise, when at the cottage, I cook them on the grill.  Again, keep the husks on and cook them over indirect heat for about 15 minutes (close the lid of the barbecue)   You can then husk them (remove the husk) and return them to the grill for colour and a little smokey char flavour.  Slather in butter, sprinkle with salt and enjoy!

3.  You can also always cook your corn the old fashioned way (the way my mom always did it): Put the husked corn cobs in a large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes.  Easy.

This is a great recipe if you have some corn left over.  I made it to go with the recipe for Corn Bread with Brown Butter and Spicy Red Pepper Glaze.  All the components of a great salad are here:  Sweet and smokey grilled corn, tender sautéed peppery mushrooms, salty and chewy Halloumi cheese and finally crunchy toasted walnuts topped with fresh basil or tarragon.  So incredibly good and a good new salad option to try.  

Grilled Corn, Halloumi, Peppery Mushroom and Walnut Salad:  makes 4 servings

  • 3 cobs of fresh sweet corn, cooked
  • 10 large button mushroom, cleaned and sliced
  • butter
  • 6 slices of halloumi cheese
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) of walnuts, toasted to bring out their flavour
  • seasoned rice vinegar
  • walnut oil (or hazelnut)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • oil 
  • fresh basil or tarragon
Brush the cooked corn cobs with oil and grill either on the barbecue or a grill pan to colour, turning often.  Allow to cool and, using a serrated knife, cut the corn kernels off the cob.  Place in a bowl and season with salt.  Drizzle with some seasoned rice vinegar and walnut oil to taste.  You should taste the acidity of the vinegar but the corn flavour should still be dominating.  

Place the sliced mushrooms in a large pan with 1T of oil and a large pinch of salt. Sauté on medium high heat until the mushrooms have released their water and it has evaporated (about 10 minutes).  Turn the heat to high and add a generous pat of butter.  Continue to sauté until the mushrooms colour (about 2 minutes).  Season with a generous amount of freshly ground pepper (to me mushrooms are at their best when highly seasoned with pepper).

Add the sliced halloumi cheese to the hot grill and cook until it colours with grill marks on both sides.  Cut into bite sized pieces and mix all the salad components together.  Top with chopped toasted walnuts and fresh basil or tarragon (or seasoned watercress, baby arugula, baby spinach - whatever greens you like).  Enjoy!

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