Grilled Corn with Avocado, Avocado Cream and Toasted Pepitas

Needless to say, it takes a lot to lure me away from the kitchen but lately, I have to admit that I’m not handling the heat. Rather than eating out, I have more often turned to cooking out. Throughout this temperature tug-o-war, the barbecue has been my most faithful ally.

One of our favourite cookout foods has been corn. Tender, sweet and juicy, they are the easiest seasonal vegetable-that-is-actually-a-fruit to throw on the ‘barbie’ and dress up with a hearty legume or a punchy dressing. This week, while vacationing in the Catskills, we have gorged on Hudson-grown corn picked up at roadside farmstands (while also devouring the sight of our the other roadside treat, deer!). While we mostly enjoyed the corn grilled in salads, I did take a sidetrip down culinary-memory lane by creating a Creamed Corn Cobb loaf. My family enjoyed this little off-the-cuff creation so much, I’m going to share the quick recipe with you here, before the main event!


Creamed Corn Cobb Loaf

Makes one cobb loaf, enough for 4 as a hearty snack

  •  1 cobb loaf

Creamed Corn

  • 1 corn on the cob, kernels removed
  • Pinch of paprika
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup (or a little more) creamed cheese (I used whipped cream cheese)
  • 1 tbsp or so of whole milk (or half and half)
  • Small handful of chopped chives
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  • Sea salt and black pepper

Pan fry the corn kernels in a little extra virgin olive oil and season with sea salt, black pepper and a pinch of paprika. Add the corn to the cream cheese, and stir in the milk, chives, minced garlic and whisk together vigorously.

Hollow out the centre of a crusty cobb loaf to make a small, shallow bowl shape - make sure you save the ‘lid’ and keep the hollowed out bread for dipping. Spoon the creamed corn into the bread bowl and replace the ‘lid’. Perfect to wrap up to enjoy outdoors!

Now that I have got this embarrassingly-retro recipe off my chest, here is this week’s main salad course. It features another creamed ‘fruit’, a sexy Avocado Cream. This salad is an avocado double-play, a two-way take on this nutritionally dense ingredient that is a staple in our home. The avocado cream is simply the best – it takes less than 2 minutes to whip up, is super healthy and tastes so damn indulgent. This could be my favourite Summer salad dressing yet! A big call, but one I’m unequivocally prepared to stick by.

Grilled corn with avocado, avocado cream and toasted pepitas

Use whichever lettuce greens you like. I used some soft lettuce leaves, a combination of oakleaf and butterhead from one of my favourite leaf growers, Gotham Greens.

Serves 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main

Gluten Free

  • 2 corn on the cob, husks removed
  • 4.5oz/128g lettuce of your choice
  • 1 avocado, skins removed and sliced
  • ¼ cup pepitas, toasted
  • Big handful coriander leaves
  • 50g/1.7oz manchego cheese, shaved
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 green chilli, finely sliced (optional)
  • ½ lime
  • Sea salt and black pepper

Avocado Cream

  • 1 avocado
  • ¼ cup greek yoghurt
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp water
  • Sea salt

To make the avocado cream, add everything to a small blender or food processor. Blitz together, adding enough water to get the consistency of heavy cream. Season well with sea salt.

Preheat the barbecue to hot. Brush the corn on the cob with a little extra virgin olive oil and then grill until charred on all sides. Remove and allow to cool.

On a large serving platter, arrange the lettuce leaves. Cut each corn cob into 2 or 3 segments (or leave whole!) and lay on top of the lettuce. Arrange the avocado slices on top and around the corn. Dot the salad with big spoonfuls of avocado cream and sprinkle with pepitas, coriander leaves, and green chillis (if using). Finish with a squeeze of lime juice, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a season well with sea salt and black pepper.

SALAD, SNACKHetty McKinnon