Asian-Inspired Charred Corn Salad Recipe

Asian-Inspired Charred Corn Salad Recipe Recipe

Corn is in season and it's very inexpensive right now. Charring it and turning it into a salad was a great opportunity to use loads of it. I wanted to give it an Asian twist so I dressed the corn with a miso vinaigrette and added diced, ripe mango and some sesame seeds at the end.

During our recent trip to France, I discovered the multiple uses of Le Puy green lentils. These French lentils are ideal when following a vegetarian diet (which is the case for my husband Lulu). Did you know? First, they're packed with protein. They were orignally grown in the volcanic soils of the Puy area, near Clermont-Ferrand in the heart of the Vend region of Western France.

Ingredients

Yields: 6 servings

5 corn ears, husked
¼ red onion, very finely chopped
juice of 2 limes
¾ cup Puy green lentils
1 carrot, boiled and coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, stem, seeded and coarsely chopped
3 cups baby kale leaves
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 ripe mango
1 tablespoon red miso paste
¼ cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper, coarsely crushed
1 drizzle toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds


Directions

Steaming the corn: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the steamer insert and place all the corn ears in the steamer and steam for about 8-10 minutes. This step is to ensure that the corn is perfectly cooked. The corn will finish cooking on the grill.

Grilling the corn: Brush the corn with a little olive oil, using a silicon brush. Place the corn on a griddle. Cook until you get grill marks (about 2 minutes on each side) over medium heat. As soon as the corn is grilled, season with salt and pepper. Remove from the pan. Cut the corn kernels off the cob, using a sharp chef's knife. Set aside.

For the French green lentils:

Wash the lentils and discard any floating or odd-shaped ones. Wash and rinse thoroughly in several water baths (about three times). No soaking time is required. Drain the lentils, removing as much of the soaking water as possible. Place them in a saucepan. Cover with water, bring to a boil, cook for about 2-3 minutes, then drain.

In a small pot, heat the oil. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, then cook until fragrant. Add the green lentils and baking soda. Complete with 3½ cups of water; the water should barely cover the lentils. Bring to a boil then lower to a gentle simmer for about 45 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons of salt half-way through the cooking process (it will bring out the natural flavor of the lentils and the lentils will be more tender) and keep stirring every now and then so the lentils don't stick to the bottom of the pot. Add 1 cup water and lime juice. Bring back to a boil  and cook for an additional 15 minutes over low-heat. Drain and let cool to room temperature.

How to peel a mango:

This might sound silly but Lulu's aunt was intrigued at how I peel a mango neatly without getting the pulp all mashed and mushy.

Using a sharp knife, trim the end. Peel one side while holding the fruit with the other end. Delicately cut the first lobe, leaving it on the stone of the fruit and make criss-cross cuts, creating the cubes of fruit. Transfer the diced fruit to a bowl. Flip the fruit and repeat the same procedure on the other side. Do not apply any pressure to the flesh with your fingers to prevent the fruit from bruising; that way the pulp won't be mashed up or damaged.

Drizzle with lime juice.

Assemby: 

In a small jar, dissolve 1 teaspoon sugar in mustard. Add the miso, the juice of 1 lime and cider vinegar. Stir well. Add 4 tablespoons olive oil. Seal the jar and shake well. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. 

In a large serveing platter, Combine the kale leaves, mango. red bell pepper, carrots, French green lentils and charred corn. Drizzle with the miso vinaigrette. Toss well. 

Drizzle a little lime juice and toasted sesame oil.

Bon appétit!


Tips

As a side dish, count about ¼ cup French Puy lentils per serving but for this salad half the amount is enough. Baking soda is added to the cooking liquid and helps making them easier to digest.

If you're having a barbeque, you can grill the corn directly without steaming.

How to choose Ataulfo mangoes: Ataulfo mangoes are small, flat and oblong shaped. When picking mangoes at the store, choose those with deep golden color and small wrinkles.  Bring the fruit close to your nose; it should smell fragrant. Gently squeeze the mango, it should feel soft, but not mushy to the touch.  If the skin is still greenish yellow, you might want to let it ripen for a few days in a paper bag at room temperature before consuming it to get the peak of balanced sweetness and hint of spiciness.

How to cut the corn kernels off the cob: Just stand the corn ear on end and slice the kernels down with a sawing motion. Each cob yields about ¾ cup of corn.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on July 23, 2014.


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