By Gretchen McKay


Let’s eat: Pan-seared corn and quinoa salad

Categories : Food
Pan-seared Corn and Quinoa Salad/Gretchen McKay

So you’ve been asked to bring a potluck dish to a Memorial Day cookout this weekend, and you’re thinking a salad might be an easy way to go. How about one that highlights one of late spring/early summer’s first crops, sweet corn?

If you love the vegetable boiled or grilled on the cob, you (and your fellow eaters) will go crazy over its nubby kernels when they’re roasted in a hot  pan. This easy, portable recipe pairs skillet corn and other veggies with protein-packed quinoa in a piquant dressing that sings of lime.

For even more flavor, toast the quinoa by sauteing it in a little olive oil over medium heat until it’s golden before cooking.

For dressing

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Juice 3 limes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Pinch paprika

For salad

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 ears corn, husked
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup raw hulled pumpkin seeds (I omitted)
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and sliced
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

Make dressing: In airtight container, whisk together dressing ingredients. Cover and set aside for 15-20 minutes to help flavors mingle.

Make salad: Brush a cast-iron skillet with olive oil and set it over medium heat. Once skillet is hot, add corn and brush ears with olive oil. Using a fork, gently roll corn to evenly sear. It should take about 3 minutes for corn to be lightly browned. Transfer corn to a plate and place in fridge to cool.

In large bowl, toss together quinoa, cilantro, celery, bell pepper, green onions and pumpkin seeds (if using). Add as much of the jalapeno as you like, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, depending on how hot you want the salad to be.

Remove corn from fridge. Set stalk end of one ear in a large bowl and hold top by the narrow end. Gently run a large, sharp knife down the cob to remove kernels, letting them fall into the bowl. Rotating corn is less awkward than moving the knife and will get you larger kernels.

Toss corn kernels into the quinoa salad and mix with a large spoon. Mix in dressing, transfer salad to an air-tight container and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

Serve cold, with a wedge of lime to squeeze over the top.

Serves 4 to 6.

–“Mastering the Art of Vegan Cooking” by Annie and Dan Shannon (Grand Central Life & Style, May 2015, $25)