A Summer lunch of Ribs, Beans and Corn

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grilled corncobs

I was so inspired by Donna Hay’s beautiful article on Aussie slow winter cooking the other day. For those of you who don’t know her, Donna Hay is an Australian food stylist extraordinaire, and always has a great and unusual take on recipes.   I loved the look of all the rib recipes, but was particularly taken by the herb and lemon ribs served with a fresh-tasting Salsa Verde. It works very well this time of year (as well as during Aussie Autumn/Winter), served with seasonal British lettuce, asparagus, peas and broad beans. With a little preparation the day before, we are ready to grill the ribs and sweetcorn on the barbecue and assemble the salad with little hassle on the day.  The ribs have already been simmered in a herby, lemony brine the previous day and left to marinade in the remaining liquor overnight.

Herb and Lemon Ribs with Salsa Verde 

Serves four

For the pork (brine):

  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 6 stalks of parsley
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 2 tbsp green peppercorns
  • 1 small bunch of (lemon) thyme
  • 500ml dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp table salt
  • drizzle or two of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 kilos baby back pork ribs
  1. Combine the onion, garlic, parsley, lemon, thyme, peppercorns, wine, salt and 2 litres of water.  Bring to the boil, add the ribs, reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 mins until tender.
  2. Remove ribs from liquid, place in tray, add half of the liquid, cover and refrigerate (overnight if possible) .

To make the Salsa Verde (NB: do not process as this will emulsify the salsa (the key to a good salsa verde is to chop it finely by hand with a mezzaluna or sharp knife):

  • large handful each of flat leaf parsley, basil and chives, chopped finely
  • 3 anchovies
  • 2 tbsp capers, rinsed
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp green peppercorns (optional – this is a Donna Hay addition and makes the salsa much more peppery)
  • grated rind of one lemon
  • sufficient extra virgin olive oil to cover the ingredients
  1. Finely chop the herbs and set aside
  2. Add finely chopped anchovies, capers, mustard, vinegar and peppercorns, along with the lemon rind, to a large mason or jam jar.
  3. Add herb mixture.
  4. Add extra virgin olive oil to cover ingredients, and stir.
  5. Refrigerate.  This will keep for several weeks refrigerated, and works well with most cold cuts, as well as lentils and pulses.

The ribs were finished off on the barbecue, then dressed with the salsa verde and some balsamic vinegar.  They were served with a salad of lettuce, “double podded” broad beans, fresh raw peas, onion and the same herbs used in the salsa verde, dressed with an oil and vinegar dressing.  Grilled fresh corn on the cob served with lime and chilli butter made a fantastic accompaniment too, along with some gherkins.

Grilled corn with lime and chilli butter

  • 150g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tsp thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely grated lime rind
  • 2 tsp sea salt (Maldon is good)
  • 1 chilli, seeds removed and chopped finely
  • 4 corn cobs
  1. Process butter, thyme, lemon rind, salt, and chilli in food processor until combined.
  2. roll in foil or baking parchment into shape of log, and refrigerate until needed.
  3. Grill corn on very hot barbecue, turning several times, for about 10 minutes or until tender and a little charred.
  4. Serve with lime and chilli butter on top.

This was really delicious and an interesting take on an American staple.  The addition of herbs instead of a barbecue sauce was initially sniffed at by the children, but the left-overs were wolfed up, and everyone particularly enjoyed the lime and chilli sweet corn.

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