Corn and Tomato Salad with Spicy Bagna Cauda and Roasted Peanuts


This recipe will walk you through the process of charring sweet corn in a cast iron skillet, inside, sans grill. It can easily be adapted for proper grilling as well, so feel free to take the operation outside, and grill the corn over medium high heat in the same manner.

Active Time: 45 Mins

Total Time: 45 mins



  • 4 ears sweet corn
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 6 scallions
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 pint Sungold or cherry tomatoes
  • 3 limes


  • 6 oil-packed anchovy filets
  • Smoked paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon red pepper flake or 2 teaspoons Aleppo
  • ¾ cup roasted, salted peanuts
  • Kosher salt


  • 4 ounces feta cheese

1. Char the corn:

  • Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat for 3 minutes.
  • Shuck 4 ears of corn. Arrange them in the skillet in a single layer. Char, turning once every 4-5 minutes until blackened in some spots, all over, 15-20 minutes.

2. Make the spicy bagna cauda:

  • While the corn chars, firmly smash and peel 8 garlic cloves. Combine the smashed garlic, 6 anchovy fillets, and ½ cup olive oil in a small pot (the smaller the better). Set over low heat and cook, swirling occasionally, until the garlic is bursting open, and softened, but not browned 8-12 minutes. If your burners run hot, move the pot off to one side of the burner to reduce the intensity--you’re looking for a very, very low flame. Once the garlic has softened some, use a fork to mash the cloves into the oil, and continue to cook until the insides are soft and the garlic is stringy and dispersed, 2-4 minutes longer. This timeframe will greatly depend on the power of your burners so pay attention to the visual indicators more than the timing.
  • Remove from the heat, stir in 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, and ¾ teaspoon red pepper flakes. Let cool slightly, mashing occasionally as it cools to continue to break up the garlic.

3. Cut some things:

  • Thinly slice 6 scallions crosswise.
    Finely chop ¾ cup roasted, salted peanuts.
  • Finely chop the leaves and tender stems of 1 bunch of cilantro.
  • Cut 1 pint of Sungold tomatoes in half.
  • Add all of the above to a large bowl.
  • Stand each ear of corn upright in the bowl (with all the stuff) and cut the corn kernels off the cob and right into the bowl.

4. Finish:

  • Crumble 4 ounce feta into the bowl. Pour the spicy bagna cauda dressing over and gently toss everything to combine.
  • Squeeze the juice of 3 limes into the salad. Toss well and taste for seasoning, it may or may not need salt depending how salty your cheese and anchovies are. Serve at room temperature, or chill for up to 4 hours.

Filed Under: ,