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Corn with Green Peas, Roasted Italian Kale & Garlic Butter


Lerato Corn Season Recipe

Enjoy a simple yet impressive salad packed full of flavour!

I love corn, for many reasons. Its deliciously sweet kernels are easy to enjoy without the need for embellishment. The aroma of simply boiled or roasted corn on the cob is quite the pull, as it reminds me of those cooked by the roadside in Nigeria and across West Africa. It was always hard to drive past without stopping for a cob or two. Simple and delicious! This is how I ate corn for many years until I decided to play around with more flavours especially for the purpose of creating recipes for my newspaper column at the time.

By all means, boil or roast corn and enjoy its wonderful simplicity, but I urge you to try this simple recipe with a herby buttery dressing to adorn your salad. This recipe allows the natural sweetness of the corn to shine alongside a variation of textures and flavours with similarly sweet green peas and crispy earthy cavolo nero - the dark verdant Italian kale which is my favourite kind of kale. This is not a kale recipe to turn your nose up at. You will love this!

How to pick the freshest corn?

Corn is at its best in its green husks with light brown or golden silk tassels at the tip. Fresh corn is also slightly moist and with a sweet aroma. Older corn is less sweet and becomes much drier with the husks turning from green to a brownish yellow, and the kernels possibly starting to show some indentation as they lose moisture. If you cannot find fresh corn or if out of season, jarred or canned corn is a wonderful store cupboard swap. When buying from farmers markets, don't be shy to ask before you buy.

The original recipe was created with African basil, a wonderfully fragrant, jagged edged basil that looks rather similar to mint. For this recipe, I have used Thai basil, which you can also substitute with regular basil. Green peas can be substituted with green beans, butter for extra virgin olive, rapeseed or avocado oil, but I always say, everything tastes better with butter!

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Happy cooking my people!

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Cook with Lerato, Corn Recipe

Last of the Summer Salads up next in upcoming newsletter!

Tomato & Roasted Corn Salad

Panzanella Style Salad for paid subscribers


Corn with Green Peas, Roasted Italian Kale & Garlic Butter

Preparation & Cooking time: 50 – 60 mins

Feeds: 4 – 8 hungry tummies

4 - 6 ears of corn or 500 g canned sweetcorn, drained & rinsed

300 g frozen green peas

60g melted butter

3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed or grated

10 Thai basil leaves, chopped

500g Cavolo nero

Olive oil

1 small bunch of spring onion, greens sliced

Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper


Cook’s Tip

Shucking means undressing the corn from its husk. The best way to do this without leaving a lot of the golden-brown silk on the cob is to tightly hold on to the tip of the corn and pull the husk back in one strong motion. Finish by breaking or cutting off the stems. You can also shuck corn after cooking, but take care to do this once thoroughly cooled.


Let’s get cooking!

1. Fill a large pot with water but not to the brim, and bring to a boil. Place the corn into a large bowl or sink to shuck them. (see tip above)

2. Clean any leftover silk on the cob and rinse thoroughly before carefully placing it into the pot of boiling water. Cover and allow to cook for 5 - 10 minutes until the corn softens. Depending on the age of the corn, some will cook as quickly as in 6 minutes while others may take a little longer. Once cooked, drain and leave the cobs to cool.

3. In another small pot, bring salted water to a boil and cook the peas for 3 - 4 minutes. Once cooked, drain the water and pour the peas into the bowl of ice-cooled water. This will shock them to cool down in temperature and maintain a lovely glowing green colour. After a minute, drain the peas and set them aside.

4. If you are using canned sweet corn, drain the liquid and add the corn to boiling water to cook for 4 minutes. Drain and set aside.

5. To roast the kale, preheat the oven to 180C/fan. Wash leaves and dry thoroughly. Place dry kale leaves on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, season with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, turning the leaves halfway through cooking to cook well on both sides. Set aside when cooked and crispy.

6. Melt the butter in a saucepan set over a medium heat Stir in the crushed or grated garlic and stir until fragrant. Add the basil to the garlic butter and season with sea salt and black better. This dressing can be made a day in advance because the longer the garlic and herb sit in the butter, the more intense and wonderful the dressing will be.

7. Once the corn is cooled, hold the cob upright, flat side down, and use a knife to cut off the corn from the cob. Use pressure when cutting to make sure you get to the bed of the cob in order to get all the kernels off.

8. In a large bowl, mix together, the corn, green peas, and garlic butter dressing and season to perfection with salt and pepper. The corn and peas can sit in the dressing a day before or all day in the fridge before serving.

9. Serve the roasted kale on a platter and spoon the corn and green pea salad all over. Scatter over the sliced spring onion greens. Enjoy this on its own as a refreshing salad or with your grill of choice. 

This recipe has been adapted from my cookery column originally published in print and online with The Guardian Ng.

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