Sweet Corn, Pepper and Bean Salad with Cilantro & Lime Pesto
I have to admit that I am not really a great fan of sweet corn as it is usually a little too one-dimensional in its taste for my liking- meaning that it is just sweet, period. I know, I know... just hate me for it! Knock yourselves out! I know that you all love it!
So that is precisely why I decided to pick some up from the market on Saturday. It is in season here and I have to admit it did look like a really good quality. And I just thought- what the hey- surely you can do something cooler with it than just soaking it in butter! And sure enough, I did!
I began by getting my steamer ready and bubbling away and steaming, first of all, 2 corn cobs, which I cut in half to make a little more manageable. I steamed them for 10 minutes and the removed them, set them to one side and steamed the beans for 6-7 minutes, set them to one side and steamed the bell pepper for 4-5 minutes too.
I steamed the vegetables because I wanted to get them partially cooked and succulent, but not to lose all of their flavor into the water by boiling them- plus they retain their color better, are done quicker and are not waterlogged when it comes to frying them in the grill-pan... which was next on my agenda!
I took all of the vegetables and tossed them in just a little olive oil, to get them nicely coated. First into the pan of course were the peppers, which I wanted to make sure to get nicely scorched! The only way to do that is to take a wooden spoon and press down on them- don't be afraid- you won't hurt them! They already died during steaming!
Once they start looking nice, add some crushed garlic to the pan and the other vegetables, and keep stirring them until they start to brown nicely.
Whilst everything else is sizzling along, prepare the cilantro and lime pesto, by taking a good handful of cilantro and chopping it coarsely. Pop this into your blender along with a chopped green onion, a little fresh mint, a clove of garlic, the zest, juice and flesh of one lime and a cupful of olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar and blend on pulse until smooth.
Arrange the grilled vegetables on a serving dish, add some thinly sliced red onion for a little tangy crispness, add the pesto and a generous sprinkle of chili flakes... and get ready to enjoy a great salad! Because if I liked it as much as I did- you are going to love it for sure!