Yotam Ottolenghi’s corn recipes (2024)

We’ve enjoyed more “corn time” than usual thanks to the long summer, which makes me very happy indeed. The little yolk-coloured kernels’ sweetness is brilliantly enhanced by the smoke of a barbecue, the savoury notes of fresh herbs and the fiery intensity of chilli. I also like adding milk and butter, which boost the creaminess, but coconut milk does the job just as well. Whatever your combination, don’t miss out on this glorious golden bounty.

Cornbread with cheddar, feta and jalapeño (pictured above)

The “bread” in cornbread is a wonderful euphemism for “cake”. You can spread it with lots of butter and have it for breakfast, but you can also serve it as part of meze spread or with a roasted chicken.

Prep 15 min
Cook 50 min
Serves 10

2 small fresh corn cobs, kernels shaved off (150g), or 150g frozen corn kernels, defrosted
140g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
50g light brown soft sugar
Salt and pepper
180g instant polenta
360g soured cream
2 large eggs
120ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tbsp extra for greasing
4 spring onions, trimmed and roughly chopped
10g coriander leaves, chopped
1 fresh jalapeño chilli, finely chopped

For the topping
100g feta, broken into roughly 2cm chunks
100g mature cheddar, coarsely grated
1 fresh jalapeño chilli, cut into thin rounds
½ small red onion, peeled and cut into 5mm slices
2 tsp nigella seeds

Heat the oven to 170C/335F/gas 3½.

Put a large ovenproof cast-iron saute pan, about 25cm wide, on a high flame. Once hot, add the corn kernels and dry-fry for four to five minutes, stirring from time to time, until slightly blackened. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool.

Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cumin and cayenne into a large bowl. Add the sugar along with one and a half teaspoons of salt and a good grind of pepper. Stir through and set aside.

Add the polenta, soured cream, eggs and oil to a separate bowl and whisk lightly. Add to the dry ingredients, then fold in the spring onion, coriander, jalapeño and toasted corn until just combined.

Lightly oil the base and sides of the pan used to toast the corn, pour in the cornbread mixture and evenly scatter over all the topping ingredients. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. Serve the cornbread hot straight from the oven or leave to cool for 30 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature the same day. If serving it the next day, warm through in the oven just before.

Red pepper, corn and sriracha pancakes

Yotam Ottolenghi’s corn recipes (1)

The avocado salsa works a treat here but the pancakes are also great just as they are, with a squeeze of lime. If you want to get ahead, the batter can be made the day before and kept in the fridge. Hold back on the baking powder and egg whites if you do this, adding both to the mix just before cooking.

Prep 15 min
Cook 1 hr 15 min
Makes 12

2 large red peppers (420g)
2 whole fresh corn cobs, papery husks removed (500g)
3 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
150ml whole milk
100g unsalted butter, half melted, and half to fry the pancakes
2 tbsp sriracha, plus extra to serve, if you like
200g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt

For the avocado and lime salsa
4 ripe avocados, roughly chopped
2 green chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
4 limes juice 2 to get 2½ tbsp, and cut 2 into wedges, to serve
1 tbsp olive oil
10g coriander, roughly chopped
⅓ tsp salt

Heat the oven to 220C/425F/gas 7. Put the peppers on a small baking tray and roast whole for 25 minutes, until browned all over, then transfer to a bowl and set aside, covered with clingfilm, for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, grill the corn for 10 minutes under a high heat, turning throughout, until charred all over. Set aside to cool for five minutes and then slice the charred sweetcorn off the cob.

Now peel off and discard the skin, stalk and seeds of the peppers. Finely chop the flesh of one pepper, transfer to a bowl and set aside. Put the second in a food processor and set aside.

Add one half of the corn to the chopped pepper. Add the other half to the food processor and blitz with the pepper until fairly smooth, then add this to the chopped pepper and sweetcorn. Add the yolks, milk, melted butter and sriracha, mix and set aside.

Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate, large bowl, add the wet mix and stir to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks – about three minutes if whisking by hand – , then gently fold this in, too.

To cook, add 10g butter to a large, nonstick frying pan on a medium heat. Once hot, add about three tablespoons of batter per pancake to the pan and fry for four to five minutes, turning halfway through, until cooked through and golden brown. Keep each one warm while you make the rest, adding more butter to the pan with each batch.

For the salsa, simply stir everything together. Serve two or three warm pancakes per person with a generous spoonful of the salsa, a wedge of lime and a drizzle of extra sriracha if you like it spicy.

Spiced semolina with fried corn, peanuts and coriander

Yotam Ottolenghi’s corn recipes (2)

This falls somewhere between a savoury semolina pudding and an Indian upma. Serve as a hearty brunch, with some toasted flatbread, or for dinner with some grilled prawns. Asafoetida is a pungent onion-garlicky spice used a lot in southern Indian cooking.

Prep 15 min
Cook 20 min
Serves 4

2 tbsp vegetable oil
½ tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 whole cloves
15 fresh curry leaves
60g blanched peanuts
⅛ tsp asafoetida
3-4 large corn cobs, kernels shaved off (350g), or 350g frozen corn kernels, defrosted
1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2 limes – juice 1 to get 20ml, and cut the other into wedges, to serve
2cm piece ginger (10g), peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
200ml coconut milk
¼ tsp ground turmeric
75g ground semolina
5g picked coriander leaves, to garnish

Add a tablespoon of oil to a large saute pan and put on a medium-high heat. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, ground cinnamon, cloves and curry leaves and fry for about 30-60 seconds, until the seeds start to pop. Add the peanuts and asafoetida and cook for two to three minutes, stirring a few times, until the peanuts have taken on some colour.

Add the corn, half the green chilli and ½ teaspoon of salt, and cook for a further two minutes. Add the lime juice, then take off the heat.

Discard the cloves, transfer half of the mixture into the bowl of a food processor and blitz to a coarse paste. Set both corn mixtures aside, separately, until ready to use.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to a medium saucepan and put on a medium-high heat. Add the ginger, garlic and remaining green chilli and fry for one to two minutes, until fragrant. Add 400ml water, the coconut milk, turmeric and three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and slowly add the semolina, whisking constantly to avoid any lumps. Continue to whisk for two minutes, until the consistency is that of thin porridge.

Add the blitzed corn mixture and cook for one minute, stirring constantly, until thickened.

Divide the porridge between four bowls and top with the sauteed corn mixture. Sprinkle over the coriander leaves and serve with a lime wedge.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s corn recipes (2024)
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