Corn and pepper relish

Here is the first recipe to celebrate the fact that my latest book, The Great British Vegetable Cookbook, has just been published.  Its really quick and easy, but keeps well for several days if covered in the fridge.  I usually serve it at room temperature with grilled fish or meat.  If you love spicy food, add a little finely chopped fresh chilli to the onion and celery.

British grown sweetcorn is at its peak in August and September.  The sooner you eat it, the better it will taste, as sweetcorn, like peas, starts to convert the sugar in its kernels into starch as soon as it is picked. 

Always choose heavy heads with lush leaves and tightly packed, juicy-looking kernels.  Irregular-spaced kernels indicate dry growing conditions.

Serves 4

red pepper, seeded

red onion, finely diced

1 small inner stem celery, finely diced

1 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 heads sweetcorn

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander leaves

salt and freshly ground black pepper


1 Cut away the white ribs of the red pepper.  Finely dice the pepper flesh.  Place in a mixing bowl with the finely diced onion and celery.  Mix in the vinegar and leave for 30 minutes.


2 Strip the corn cobs of their leaves and fine hairs.  Slice off the kernels by cutting down each cob.  Set a small non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat.  When hot, add the olive oil and fry the corn kernels briskly for 2 minutes, or until just tender.  Mix into the diced vinegared vegetables.  Add the coriander and season to taste with salt and pepper.


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