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Ask a Foodie: What Is ‘Corn Salad’?

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jean_victor_balin_toque1Q. I recently read a recipe in an older cookbook that called for “corn salad.” Is this a salad made of kernels of corn or something else?

A. Corn salad is a green, and more commonly known these days as mâche (rhymes with “gosh”). It is sometimes put into a mix of field greens, but some stores sell mâche by itself, and it is usually expensive. Use it within a couple of days of purchase.  If you wash it and want to store it for more than a short time, be sure excess water is drained or shaken off.  The flavor of mâche has a little bite to it, but is tender and flavorful.

che Salad with Goat Cheese and Fennel-Mustard Vinaigrette

1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
10 ounces mâche or other baby greens (16 loosely packed cups)
1/2 pound fresh goat cheese

In a small skillet, toast the fennel seeds over moderately high heat until fragrant. Transfer the seeds to a spice grinder and let cool completely; grind to a powder.
In a large bowl, whisk the ground fennel with the vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and garlic.
Whisk in the oil; season with salt and pepper. Add the mâche and toss gently. Scatter the goat cheese on top and serve.
Serves 8.
From Jim Clendenon, Au Bon Climat Winery
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