In Season: Esca Chef Dave Pasternak’s Corn Salad With Walnuts and Goat Cheese

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Photo: Bobby Doherty/New York Magazine; Illustrations by John Burgoyne

Is there a better reminder that summer—despite conventional party-pooper wisdom—does not officially end with Labor Day than a heap of Greenmarket corn piled as high as a Fairway grapefruit display? These late-season ears are just as rich and sweet as their August predecessors. Simply boil a bunch in unsalted water for three or four minutes as soon as you get them home. Or char and cut away the kernels and try them in this recipe from Esca’s Dave Pasternack. For good reason, it’s the No. 1 item on his menu from the height of summer and well into the first days of fall.

Dave Pasternack’s Corn Salad With Walnuts and Goat Cheese

6 ears corn, husked
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 sprigs rosemary
1/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup braised chanterelle mushrooms (recipe below)
3 tbs. unsalted butter
8 ounces aged Coach Farms grating stick, finely grated
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 cups arugula, rinsed and spun dry

Preheat oven to 300. Prepare a charcoal fire or heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. (1) Grill the corn until lightly charred, about 3 minutes. Cut off the narrow ends of the cobs. (2) Hold an ear, flat end down, on a cutting board, and cut the kernels from the cob. Place the kernels in a bowl. Heat the olive oil and the rosemary in a small saucepan over a low flame until the oil is warm, but not hot. Let cool, strain, and discard the rosemary. Place the walnuts on a baking sheet, and toast in the oven for 3 minutes. Remove from the oven, and set aside. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the rosemary oil. Slightly crush the toasted walnuts in your hand, and add to the pan along with the braised mushrooms. Sauté for 1 minute. (3) Add the corn, stir to combine, and sauté for 3 minutes. Stir in the butter and 2 tablespoons of grated goat cheese. Season with salt and pepper, and remove pan from burner. Place the arugula leaves in a mixing bowl. Dress them with most of the rosemary oil, and season with salt and pepper. To serve, spoon the corn mixture onto 4 serving plates, and sprinkle with half the remaining goat cheese. Top with the arugula and the rest of the goat cheese. Drizzle with the remaining rosemary oil. Serves 4. Adapted from Dave Pasternack.

For the braised chanterelles:
3 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, minced
2 tbs. unsalted butter
1 cup dry white wine
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound chanterelles

Trace the diameter of a large straight-sided sauté pan on parchment paper, and cut out the circle. This will serve as the pan’s lid. Heat the olive oil in the sauté pan over medium flame until hot but not smoking. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the butter and wine, then season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer, and add the mushrooms. Toss, then cover with the circle of parchment paper. Cook the mushrooms at a low simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very tender. Season with more salt and pepper.

This article originally appeared in the September 23, 2013 issue of New York Magazine.