Over the weekend, I indulged in a grand idea. I decided to set up a new work station, which would solve all my problems and turn me into a Super Productive Individual. I recently inherited a vintage leather armchair from my parents, you see. It’s a serious chair, in a regal shade of blue with both tufts and rivets. It’s actually a recliner in disguise—lean back and the footrest raises in a controlled swoop that proclaims your entrance to a comfortable position with a satisfying little thwap!
I designated it The Big Blue Chair in which I Will Get Stuff Done. The Big Blue Chair worked for about two hours yesterday morning, until I got a J.Crew final sale email that sent productivity went out the window. I want to blame the chair, but it’s me. I can only go so fast. And in reality, I always manage to get everything done that needs to get done. I really love what I do.
Enough! I promise not bring up this busy stuff again any time soon. Let’s get on to the recipe. I adapted these raw sweet corn wraps from Mark Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook for The Food Matters Project. I had to make this recipe twice to get it just right. Mr. Bittman’s recipe calls for the juice of an orange, which I thought was an intriguing choice for a chili-specked corn recipe when lime seemed like the natural choice. Unfortunately, intriguing immediately turned to disappointing when I tasted the salad. The combination of sautéed, nearly caramelized corn and fresh orange juice was way too sweet for me, and no amount of lime juice could cut it.
The second time around, I decided not to cook the corn at all and traded lime juice for orange. Bingo! Serve on a big cabbage or lettuce leaf à la Joy the Baker and top with avocado and crispy tortilla strips. It’s a light meal or appetizer, perfect for the height of summer.
- 4 to 6 ears fresh corn, kernels removed (2 to 3 cups)
- 1 small red onion, chopped finely
- ½ red bell pepper, chopped
- handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced into thin rounds
- ½ cup well chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder or regular chili powder
- pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2 small limes, juiced
- sea salt and black pepper
- 1 teaspoon olive oil, plus more for frying
- 1 head of white or green cabbage or butter lettuce (optional, see notes)
- 2 small corn tortillas, cut into little strips
- 1 avocado
- In a medium bowl, combine the raw corn kernels, onion, bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, chili powder, cayenne pepper (if using) and the juice of two limes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss in a teaspoon of olive oil. Set aside for thirty minutes, if you can swing it.
- Remove 4 to 6 big cabbage/lettuce leaves (if using) from the head of cabbage/lettuce. I had trouble with this, I think it will be easier if you cut off the base first (head smack!). Place each leaf on its own small plate.
- In a small skillet (preferably cast iron) on medium-high heat, pour in enough oil to form a thin film on the surface. Add the tortilla strips, sprinkle with some salt and fry until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove tortilla strips from skillet and drain on a plate covered with a piece of paper towel.
- Halve and pit the avocado and slice into small strips, leaving the skin behind. Spoon about ½ cup of the salsa mixture onto each leaf, then top with crispy tortilla strips and avocado. Serve immediately.
- Adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman. Influenced by Joy the Baker's BLT Corn Salad Wraps, Sprouted Kitchen's sweet corn ceviche and my black bean and corn salsa (fun fact: that was my first ever recipe post).
- The corn salsa should keep well in the fridge, covered, for two to three days.
- Wraps can be messy. Feel free to eat this salad on its own or on a bed of loose leaf lettuce. Or treat is like salsa—serve it with tortilla chips, on tacos or tostadas, in burritos or burrito bowls or quesadillas. It's especially great on top of a thin slice of avocado toast.
- Find Mark Bittman's original recipe for corn-avocado salad (with a little something seared on top) at Vanilla Lemon.