Summer is in full glory this week in my garden…which is an understated way of saying, “I’m hot.” Temperatures teetering at the 100 degree mark make me weary. Whiney. Wailing for easier times, remembering only their plenty, not their want. If you are a Bible gardener, you will quickly connect my attitude with the Israelites, those wandering souls in the Sinai Desert remembering the bounty of Egypt and none of the slavery.
The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. Numbers 11:5
I remember this passage often because it contains some of the best summer produce. Who is enjoying a crop of cucumbers right now? Sensational melons? However, the curbits come with intensely warm weather, and the rest of this Scripture passage encourages me not to complain about it! (see verses 33-34)
Instead, let us have a little fun with our garden’s summer blessings and satisfy our craving for cool by cooking up a chilled salad. This side dish captures the produce the Israelites longed for from Egypt—cucumbers, garlic and onions (chives and shallots are fellow alliums used with poetic license!)—along with corn which brought them there to begin with.
Though the “corn in Egypt” that Jacob sent his sons for (Genesis 42:2 KJV) was not the yellow corn in this salad, but likely wheat or another grain, American corn is from the same plant family as the other grains, poetic license again!
“It always astonishes American visitors to Great Britain to discover that our fields of wheat are described as cornfields”—W.E. Shewell-Copper, Plants, Flowers and Herbs of the Bible, 1977
There’s Corn in Egypt Salad
8-10 ears of corn, remove husks & silks
4 medium sized peppers, mild or hot to your liking, sliced lengthwise to grill
olive oil for lightly coating corn & peppers
1 cucumber, diced
1 C. fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
¼ C. fresh chives, finely chopped
1-2 T. Olive oil
2 T. white wine, rice or golden balsamic vinegar, or combine any of these together
2 garlic cloves
1 shallot or 2 T. diced onion
salt & black pepper to taste
Heat grill. Clean corn of husks and silks and slice peppers lengthwise and remove seeds. Brush corn and pepper strips with olive oil.
Cook over heated grill for 5-10 minutes, turning several times to ensure even grill marks. Close lid in between turning to capture heat and complete cooking.
Remove from grill. Chop peppers and cut corn from cob when cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile make dressing. In a small bowl, add vinegar and olive oil, press garlic cloves and shallot through garlic press and stir into liquids.
In salad bowl, mix corn, peppers, cucumbers, basil and chives evenly. Toss with dressing. Add salt & black pepper to taste. Cover and chill for a few hours.
About 10 servings.
Photo Caption: © 2014 Shelley S. Cramm Summer’s produce from the garden – onions, garlic, cucumbers (Numbers 11:5) paired with corn, peppers and basil – make delicious “There’s Corn in Egypt” Salad