Corn and Pickles in the same bite…….who knew??
My brother Jake used to order a corn salad at this kosher restaurant in LA all the time. ALL. THE. TIME. Sometimes it was just an extra large take out order! So it was that my son came to love that corn salad which we affectionately called “Jake Salad” in our home. Originally, I tried to make my version of Jake Salad as close as possible to the restaurant version. Over the years, the salad morphed into something that likely is farther and farther away from the original corn salad, and I never wrote down my recipe so I can’t tell how far it’s come, but the gist of it is the same……..corn and pickles…..because CORN and PICKLES, in the same bite…..who knew? Yup, corn and pickles are the must have’s in this salad and the rest is open for debate.
I’m clear that at some point I purposely omitted the mayo and when the kids asked why the Jake Salad tasted different I lied and said I didn’t know!! One day Mayo just rode off into the sunset from our home and never returned. Sorry Mayo, but you haven’t actually been missed, and, in fact, you’ve been replaced by various tasty alternatives that don’t contribute to inflammation and obesity.
When we were in Israel, I was delighted to find Jake Salad on the breakfast buffet in most major hotels. The corn salad in Israel varies from place to place, but there are always pickles and always corn. We usually have this as a side to dinner, but I’ve enjoyed the left overs for breakfast and lunch many a day. The pickles pack such a distinct flavorful punch that I find my mouth starts to water with the mention of Jake Salad.
While the original Jake Salad did have corn, it came straight from a can. This time of year, when fresh corn is plentiful and oh so sweet, it makes no sense not to use it here. I find that grilling corn brings out it’s sweetness, and the added bonus is that you don’t have to heat up your house while cooking it!! During the winter months, when fresh corn isn’t available, I have used frozen, which is picked at its peak and flash frozen to preserve the quality and flavor. Once in awhile I will “toast” the defrosted corn kernels in a dry skillet to char the outsides, but often (read: I’m in a hurry) I just rinse the frozen corn in water, shake it dry and throw it into the mix! Couldn’t be any easier.
So, even though I’ve done away with the mayo and the canned corn, I think I’ve kept the integrity of the original by keeping the majority of the ingredients the same: pickles, red peppers, corn, shallots……..Summer in a bowl!