I met my friend Sharon on my day of arrival in Israel in January 1989. We were both starting a kibbutz ulpan, and we hit it off right away. We managed to stay in touch on and off through the years, and now that she lives back on kibbutz with her husband (who she met on kibbutz) and kids, we are regularly in touch. Theyrecently hosted us for lunch on the patio of their new house, overlooking the Mediterranean sea. Sitting in the fresh sea air gave us all a hearty appetite, so it was just as well that she whipped up a gorgeous lunch. One of the highlights was a crunchy, fresh Mexican corn salad. I couldn’t stop eating it, and took recipe instructions from Sharon before I left (as well as permission to publish here).
I love corn, and when you combine it with red pepper, red onion and fresh coriander, it’s a pretty as a picture and just as good to eat. I used fresh corn that I boiled and cut off the cob. In spite of being a powerhouse of fresh, gorgeous fruit and vegetables, Israel has not quite come to grips with growing good corn. Trips to North America have educated me as to how fresh corn should really taste, and unfortunately, Israel’s just not there. So for those of you living in Israel, I recommend using frozen corn, which is generally much tastier than its fresh counterpart. For those of you who live in countries like the US and Canada, where fresh corn is a dream, please go fresh with this recipe.
SHARON’S MEXICAN CORN SALAD
About 3-4 cups corn (fresh will be from about 6-8 ears)
1 small red onion quartered and sliced
2 red peppers chopped or about ¾ cup of roasted peppers sliced
3-4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 1 lime or 1 small lemon
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
How to do it
1. For fresh corn, boil the corn until it’s cooked. Allow to cool and then run a sharp large knife down the sides of the corn, as close to the husk as possible, to slice the kernels off. For frozen, defrost using boiling water and drain when soft.
2. Mix the corn, onion, pepper, and cilantro in a bowl.
3. Whisk the lime/lemon juice, oil, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour over the salad and allow to sit for a while before serving. This salad can be made a day in advance. The flavors are enhanced when the salad sits overnight.
Serves about 8.