This recipe is from food writer Reem Kassis, who shared corn, eggplant, summer squash and tomato recipes inspired by her childhood in Jerusalem, where many of the Arab world’s culinary traditions have converged.

The contrast of textures and tastes in this salad is what makes it sublime, and pan-frying the corn kernels instead of boiling them adds another layer of flavor to an otherwise simple dish. You could substitute feta, preferably Bulgarian, for the halloumi (see VARIATION).

Leftover salad can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

VARIATION: If you can’t find halloumi and want to substitute feta, crumble it on top at the very end, and mix right before serving. Once you toss the ingredients together, the feta will mix with the dressing and form a creamy emulsion that coats the salad. It makes for a more beautiful presentation to leave the feta on top until the last minute.

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  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 ears of corn, husked
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper, diced to size of corn kernels
  • 1 jalapeño peppers, finely diced
  • 5 ounces halloumi cheese, diced to size of corn kernels; you may substitute feta (see VARIATION)
  • 8 to 10 pitted green olives, such manzanilla or pimento-stuffed, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves

Step 1

Make the dressing: In a large salad bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and cumin until combined.

Step 2

Make the salad: Working with one ear of corn at a time, place a cob horizontally on a large cutting board and, using a sharp chef’s knife, cut the kernels off as close to the cob as possible.

Step 3

In a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the corn in a single layer and cook without stirring until the kernels sizzle and pop and start to caramelize, 3 to 4 minutes. Toss the kernels well — they will have browned in spots — and spread out in a single layer again. Cook until the kernels are browned all over, about 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. (If your skillet is smaller, you may need to cook the corn in batches.)

Step 4

Once the corn has cooled, add it to the bowl, followed by the bell pepper, jalapeño, halloumi, olives and mint, and toss to combine.

Step 5

Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled. If serving from the refrigerator, let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes to take the chill off.

Nutrition Information

Per serving (about 1 1/2 cups)

Calories: 357; Total Fat: 28 g; Saturated Fat: 10 g; Cholesterol: 31 mg; Sodium: 858 mg; Carbohydrates: 17 g; Dietary Fiber: 3 g; Sugar: 6 g; Protein: 12 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

From food writer Reem Kassis.

Tested by Olga Massov; email questions to

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