Here's how recipes get around. In August I was in Manchester, Vt. at Al Ducci's Italian Pantry, a shop that friends own just off the main drag. Their new cook, Yvonne Gomez, a cheerful sort who reads cookbooks thoroughly and takes them into her home kitchen in her spare time, had made a corn and yellow split salad with a garlicky pesto and salad greens. "You have to love cilantro," said Yvonne. I couldn't get enough of it.
She found the recipe in Heidi Swanson's “Super Natural Everyday” (she's the talent behind the 101cookbook blog) and adapted it to make it with corn. What I particularly liked about the dish was the fresh crunch of corn with the soft and immensely satisfying taste of the yellow split peas.
By the time I returned home yesterday from the farmstand with all the ingredients, it was too late to make pesto. Ditto toasting pepitas, as in the original recipe. So I made a simplified version.
Recipes get around and people change them for all sorts of reasons: time, preference, appeal, cost, and more. I've decided, after seeing and experiencing this for many years, that they're all good. Thank you, Heidi Swanson and Yvonne Gomez!
End-of-summer corn, yellow split pea, and cilantro salad
2 cups yellow split peas
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons olive oil, or more to taste
4 ears fresh corn, kernels removed from cobs
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 jalapeno or other chili peppers, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add the split peas and simmer for 25 minutes or until the peas are tender but not mushy. Add a generous pinch of salt at the end of cooking.
2. Drain the peas and transfer to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.
3. In a skillet heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the corn, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Add the chili powder, coriander, and cumin. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more or until the corn is tender.
4. Tip the corn and all the spices into the split peas. Add the chilies, red onion, and cilantro. Stir well, taste for seasoning, and add more oil, salt, and pepper, if you like. Sheryl Julian. Adapted from Al Ducci's Italian Pantry and “Super Natural Everyday”
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ContributorsSheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.
Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.
Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.