A star is corn

[Recipe 1] ROAST CORN, QUINOA and PEA SALAD transforms into 
This Roast corn, quinoa and pea salad is an absolute ripper; zingy and zesty and perfect for Spring. I’ve based the recipe on one our friends Eileesh and Michael made for us last Summer. They barbecued their corn, but the weather isn’t quite warm enough for me to lift the BBQ lid yet (or clean the damn thing!), so I’ve roasted my corn in the oven instead. Eileesh and Michael’s salad featured roasted red pepper, which was fantastic; but I’ve swapped it for fresh peas as they looked so pretty at the market AND I reckon corn and peas are the perfect marriage.
You can serve the salad as is, or alongside chargrilled lamb, chicken or fresh tuna. It’s easy to modify for children and even babies – see tips below the recipe.
Reserve a portion of the salad (undressed) and you can make a batch of fabulous Corn, pea and quinoa fritters for dinner the following night. My boys adore these, and so do we! Ciao for now.

Roast corn, quinoa and pea salad[Recipe 1] Roast corn, quinoa and pea salad

Ingredients (serves 4–6 for 2 meals; ie. salad for 6, fritters for 4):
500g (1 lb) white quinoa, rinsed and drained

6 corn cobs, silk and husks removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
400g (14 oz) fresh podded peas (start with 1 kilo/2¼ lb unpodded)
3 cups coriander (cilantro), chopped
3 cups flat-leaf parsley, chopped
(Note: you’ll be reserving ⅓ of the above undressed salad ingredients for Recipe 2 below)

Lime chilli dressing:
½ cup lime juice (from 3–4 limes)
3 teaspoons lime zest, chopped

2½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons honey, warmed slightly

½ teaspoon dried red chilli flakes
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 200°C (390ºF).
Place corn cobs onto a baking tray lined with baking paper, drizzle with olive oil and roast for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly, and cut the kernels from the cob with a sharp knife. Transfer to a large bowl.
Meanwhile, blanch the peas in boiling water for 3–4 minutes, drain and add to the corn.
Combine quinoa and 3 cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stand, covered, for ten minutes or until water has been absorbed. Spread quinoa out on a tray and set aside for ten minutes to dry. Add to the corn kernels and peas, along with the coriander and parsley.
♦ Reserve ⅓ of the undressed Roast corn, quinoa and pea salad (about 6 cups) for the Corn, pea and quinoa fritters (recipe 2).
To make the lime chilli dressing, place dressing ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake well until combined. Drizzle dressing over the remaining salad and toss gently.
Salad serves 6 (or 8 as a side).

  • Quinoa is a gluten-free South American seed, available from health food stores and from the health section of large supermarkets. It’s very high in protein and has a lovely nutty flavour.
  • You can use 400g (14 oz) frozen peas instead of fresh podded peas. Blanch in boiling water for 1–2 minutes.
  • You can prepare the salad one day ahead. Store the prepared quinoa and dressing in separate containers. Store the cooked corn and peas together. Herbs should be prepared and added close to serving time.
  • Leftover salad is fab for lunch!
  • Undressed salad, reserved for the fritters, can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Baby tip: Before adding the dressing and herbs, you can puree a portion of corn, peas and quinoa, for babies over 8 months old. 
  • Fussy kid tip: To modify the salad for kids, stir a small can of drained tuna, and 1 tablespoon of egg mayonnaise through 1 or 2 cups of dressed or undressed (as preferred) salad. You can even add a chopped boiled egg. Voila! Healthy, kid-friendly tuna salad. 

Corn, pea and quinoa fritters[Recipe 2] Corn, pea and quinoa fritters

Ingredients (serves 4, makes 16–18 fritters):
1 cup (150g) plain (all-purpose) flour (gluten-free or regular)

1½ teaspoons salt
3 eggs, separated
½ cup (125ml) milk
♦ 6 cups reserved undressed Roast corn, quinoa and pea salad
3 spring onions (scallions), white parts only, thinly sliced (reserve green parts for serving)
Olive oil for shallow frying
Sliced avocado or guacamole, to serve

Combine flour and salt in a large bowl.
Whisk the egg yolks and milk in a separate bowl and gradually add to the dry ingredients, whisking until smooth.
♦ Add the reserved undressed Roast corn, quinoa and pea salad, and the spring onion whites, and stir well.
Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form and fold into the fritter mix.
Heat 1–2 tablespoons olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Use a heaped ¼ cup of batter per fritter, and flatten lightly with a spatula. Fry 4 fritters at a time for about 2 minutes each side, until golden and firm to touch. If your stovetop is large enough to accommodate them, you can use two frying pans at a time.
Repeat with remaining batter. Fritters can be kept warm in a low oven, lightly covered with foil, until you’re ready to serve.
Serve fritters topped with sliced avocado or guacamole. Scatter with chopped green ends of spring onions.

33 thoughts on “A star is corn

  1. Well I am making the salad as I type, as I love salads especially with a zingy lime dressing and I double love fritters, and I know how supurb quinoa is- gluten free, as you say, high in soluble fibre thus very easy on the gut especially for those who have gut sensitivities. So while I recommend this to many people/clients I see with gut issues I am loathe to admit that I cannot cook the damn thing to save my life. I have done it twice and it looks more like glue, so I may add it to the kids’ craft box for their next activity requiring a strong adhesive, or maybe for my husband who is about to tile our new cupboard laundry! So I may benefit greatly from a tip or two- how do you make it light and fluffy like it appears in your salad pic? Ohh, while I am at it- should one roast the corn until it has that lovely slightly char grilled appearance???
    Thank you in anticipation of your help once again!

    • Hey Fran. I promise the quinoa will turn out light & fluffy if you follow the method in the recipe; ie. letting it sit to absorb the excess water after boiling; then spreading it out on a tray to dry. Works perfectly every time, & you definitely won’t be able to use it for gluing or tiling, I promise!! You can allow your corn to char, but un-charred is perfectly fine too. Either way, the kernels are lovely and crisp when roasted (or BBQ’d). Boiling the corn makes it too mushy for this salad. Enjoy!! xx

      • THanks Sas- the salad turned out fab! But we all munched on it for the next few days- I will have to hide it from all the munchers (the biggest being me!) as I really want to make the fritters so bad!

  2. I REALLY need to get into more quinoa. I always think to cook it but I never do. The salad looks amazing, can I please have some for lunch? I’m feeling a bit under the weather today, could do with a health kick!

    • I would love to ship some salad to Sydney Cass! Wish I could. Someone should start up a ‘Comfort food Courier Company’. A real niche I reckon. Hope you’re feeling better soon.

  3. Thanks for posting this recipe Sas, both Julian and I really enjoyed the serve that you dropped off, One of the best salads I’ve had in a while, loved the pea and corn combo. I will be making this one for summer Barbies. Made your Lemon Curd yesterday another delicious recipe. Cheers!

    • Thanks Tracey. Really glad you liked the salad and so rapt to have you guys as my taste testing team! Thank you too for the beautiful cordial, preserved lemons AND lemon curd. Looking forward to a citrus-y week :)

  4. How funny – I just posted about quinoa (and only recently embracing it) and then I find these two gorgeous recipes to further my experimentation. Right now I’m itching to turn my quinoa salad into the fritters you’ve posted. They look wonderful!

    • Thanks Squishy Monster. I’m a coriander junkie too. About to try my trick for growing it in the garden soon. I buy a big bunch at the market, strip all the leaves off that I need, and plant the roots in the garden. It always takes off, and grows beautifully!

  5. Quinoa really is everywhere at the moment, isn’t it…and ashamedly, I still haven’t tried it!! These recipes look great, would love that salad for lunches, so am going to save this one to try some stage! Thanks for sharing :)

  6. Waw! Both amazingly tasty recipes, my friend! You must always make way too much food to cook it all up the next day! I love the 2nd recipe the most! Superb recipe!

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