We are proud to present this guest recipe from the Mexican food anthropologist, Claudia Prieto Piastro. She has a passion for cooking, researching and, of course, eating, humble homemade food. Her work looks at the relationship between identity and food culture. When she’s not cooking, you can find her reading cookbooks and fiction or teaching Social Sciences. We hope you enjoy this recipe.
There are as many versions of this salad as there are Mexicans. A traditional side dish in many households, it makes use of some of the cornerstone ingredients of Mexican cuisine: corn, chilis, courgettes and tomatoes. All of those ingredients are native to Mexico and have been around us since pre-colonial times.
You can adapt this recipe to the weather or your mood: can be served warm or cold; saucy or crunchy. I suggest you serve it with this great totopo salsa that will make it a whole dish; be careful with the chilis, you don’t want to make it too spicy, so taste, taste, taste!
The salsa can be used for many dishes: esquites, roast chicken, grilled cheese; or just with a warm, freshly made tortilla. In Mexico we would use white corn, that is the most popular one and that is not sweet. If you want your corn to lose some of the sweetness to mimic the flavour of Mexican corn, boil it with pasta for a minimum of five minutes. The corn will become bright orange and less sweet.
This recipe makes enough for 4 servings
– 2 chopped onions
– 1-2 cloves of chopped garlic
– 1-2 green chiles (optional) thinly sliced with or without seeds
– 500 g courgettes cut into small cubes
– 200 g frozen or fresh sweet corn
– 200 g cherry tomatoes
– A large handful of coriander, roughly chopped
– A teaspoon of dry epazote or oregano
– 100 g of crumbly cheese (traditionally this would be Mexican cotija cheese but feta, Cheshire or Lancashire cheese work well)
– Vegetable oil
– Salt & pepper
– Blanco Niño Tortilla Chips
– In a large pan, heat a teaspoon of the oil in a medium flame. Add the chopped onions and sauté for a few minutes.
– Add the chopped garlic and the chiles if you are using them. Cook them for a minute and then incorporate the courgettes; let the courgettes brown a bit.
– After around 5 minutes, add the corn and the oregano and/or epazote. Let them cook briefly and mix the chopped tomatoes. You can let the tomatoes disintegrate and become saucy by letting the mix simmer for 15 minutes, or if you prefer, keep them firmer by turning the heat off after 5 minutes.
– You can serve the salad warm or cold. Mix in the coriander and cheese; if using, just before serving up with Blanco Ninno tortilla chips.