This simple, tasty salad from Abra Berens' Ruffage is summer in a bowl. Pan-frying the corn kernels enhances their complex sweetness, and adding fresh basil and tomatoes brings in a note of bright acid. 


Credit: Courtesy Chronicle Books

Recipe Summary

Serves 4-6


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat a glug of neutral oil in a large frying pan over high heat until shimmering. Add the corn and pinches of salt and pepper. Allow to brown without stirring, about 7 minutes—stir too much and it won’t caramelize. When lightly browned, give a good flip or stir to cook the other side, about 7 minutes. Transfer the corn to a bowl.

  • Add another glug of oil to the pan and sweat the onion and garlic until tender, about 7 minutes. Add the wine and reduce by half.

  • Add the soybeans and allow to steam in the residual wine until the beans are bright green (they are hard to overcook!) and the wine is fully reduced, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes to the soybeans. Add the butter and let it melt and make everything glossy. Combine with the corn; taste and adjust the seasoning.

  • Tear the basil leaves over the whole lot and garnish with the sour cream. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Chef's Notes

The best way to cut kernels from the cob is to take a bowl much larger than you think you’ll need (trust me on this), hold the stem end of the corn like a handle, and cut the kernels away from you into the bowl. You need a large bowl to catch the juice that will inevitably splatter.


Reprinted from Ruffage by Abra Berens with permission by Chronicle Books, 2019