Grilled sweetcorn and asparagus with ricotta, goji berries and truffled honey dressing
Photo by Tam West
This salad comes from my eighth cookbook Savour: Sensational Salads for All Seasons. You could turn this into a main by topping it with thinly sliced roast chicken, flaked smoked trout or salmon, shredded ham or sizzling bacon lardons straight from the pan. It’s also great, and good for you, with ripe figs, peeled and sliced. You can use dried figs, but I like to soak and cook those briefly before using. It serves 6 as a starter or side dish.
Truffled honey dressing
- First grill the corn and asparagus. Put a heavy-based pan on a medium–high heat until smoking hot. Brush the cobs with ½ teaspoon of the olive oil and cook them, turning them as they become golden brown. Once they’re coloured all over, or near enough, remove from the pan and leave to cool on a plate.
- When cool enough to handle, cut into slices 1cm thick. This might seem daunting but it’s really not: lay a chopping board on your work surface on a damp tea towel (to prevent it sliding). Place the cobs, one at a time, on the board, and use a large knife to cut them. Trying to cut it with the tip end will be impossible, so sit the heel of the knife against the corn and press firmly down to cut through the core of the cob.
- Toss the asparagus with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and cook in the pan until coloured, turning the spears as they cook. A finger-thickness spear will take about 90 seconds to cook over a high heat. Once done, remove from the pan and leave to cool.
- Place the goji berries in a small pan, add enough water to just cover them and bring to a simmer. Cook until the water evaporates (this rehydrates them), then leave to cool.
- Put all the dressing ingredients into a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously. Taste for seasoning and add more soy or lemon juice if necessary.
- To serve, put the salad leaves on a platter. Sit the asparagus and corn on top. Break up the ricotta with your fingers and scatter it on. Sprinkle on the sunflower seeds and goji berries. Shake the dressing again and drizzle it over. Using a fine grater, grate ½ teaspoon of zest from the orange directly on to the salad and squeeze the juice from half of the orange over the salad. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Another of Peter's salads from Savour