23rd Harvest Week <> October 2 - 8, 2000

This recipe is from an absolutely beautiful cookbook called "Potager: Fresh Garden Cooking in the French Country Style", by Gerogeanne Brennan. I was so compelled by this cookbook full of seasonal recipes and evocative photography that I spent an entire summer afternoon on a blanket in the back yard reading it when I first got it! I had to edit the paper-newsletter version slightly to fit the space allowed, but here I will pass on the wording verbatim*, as the writing itself is so delightful.  - debbie

Roast Corn, Red Pepper and Oregano Salad
serves 6
(note: this recipe can be easily halved, as we may not get 8 ears of corn apiece. Also, I am figuring that most of us still have at least some of our oregano from last week's share  - debbie)

The special flavor in this salad comes from using corn and sweet peppers roasted outdoors on a charcoal grill. The smoky taste of the vegetables combined with the sharp, slightly resinous taste of fresh oregano stirs up cultural memories of open spaces, sagebrush, and campfires. This salad is best when eaten warm, when the corn and peppers are right off the grill.

8 ears corn
1/3 cup olive oil
4 red bell or other sweet peppers
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh oregano

(fresh spinach leaves optional)

Prepare a fire in a charcoal grill. Remove the silks (& chop off wormy tips! -deb) from the ears of corn, but leave husks attached. Gently pull the husks back and brush the corn kernels with half of the olive oil; sprinkle them with half of the salt and black pepper. Pull husks back into place.

Place husk-wrapped corn and the red peppers on a medium-hot grill. Turn the peppers until the entire surface of each is scorched; this will take about 5 minutes. Remove the peppers and put them into a sealed plastic bag for a few minutes to sweat. Cook the corn for another 5 minutes. Peel back the husks and put the ears directly on the grill for 2 or 3 minutes, turning them often, to brown them a bit.

To finish the dish, cut off the kernels from each cob by running a sharp knife from the pointed end to the stem end. Place the kernels in a large bowl.

With your fingertips, peel away the skins and remove the seeds and ribs from the peppers. Rinse the peppers under cold water (I'd skip that step -deb) and then cut them into thin slivers. Add the peppers to the bowl holding the corn, along with the oregano and the remaining olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss gently and spoon into a serving dish.

Note: If you wish to add some greens to this salad, spinach is a good choice. It is not overwhelmed by the oregano and the bright green leaves are pretty with the red and yellow of the peppers and corn.

*except for the parenthetical additions, which are mine and not the author's.

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