Jan Bilton's TLC: Tomato, lettuce and corn recipes
When I was growing up, the only lettuce served was the iceberg — the firm, tightly packed, pale green, crisp-leafed lettuce. It went out of favour when frilly leafed varieties were introduced such as red oak, green and red coral and endive. However, iceberg is back in favour with me simply because of its crunch and sweet flavour.
Whatever the variety, all lettuces should be treated with a little TLC. Store them in the fridge in plastic bags or in the crisper bin. Avoid squashing them and wash in cold water just before preparation. Pat them dry gently or place in a salad spinner. Dressings adhere better to dry leaves. Some leaves need to be crisped again by placing back into the fridge in a plastic bag.
Sweetcorn should also be refrigerated and enjoyed as soon after picking as possible. The husks should be green to light yellow with light brown tassels or ‘silk’. I love eating freshly picked, ripe, young corn raw. It’s sweet and juicy. Alternatively, I cook cobs in their husks in the microwave or on the barbecue.
Tomatoes on the other hand have better flavour when stored in a cool, dark place but not the refrigerator — unless they are over-ripe. However, don’t expect them to taste as good.
Mum always thickened her relishes with flour. These days cornflour is a better option for those with an allergy to wheat. Get the recipe
I cooked these on a barbecue with the hood closed. Allow extra cooking time if using an open BBQ. Get the recipe