Thursday, August 27, 2020

Late Summer Love: charred corn and tomato salad from Mary Jane Maffini, plus Giveaway!

I am so happy to be back in Mystery Lovers Kitchen again, sticking my nose in once a month, and enjoying the camaraderie with my favorite authors and, of course, the food.  In the next few months, my five Charlotte Adams books will be re-released (updated and with new covers) by Beyond the Page publishing. Death Plans a Perfect Trip, a new Charlotte Adams and the sixth in the series (thank all of you who asked over the years!) will be out in May 2021.  The Charlotte Adams organizing mysteries have been optioned, so fingers crossed for more news. I will be revealing covers here as soon as we have them and pairing them with some fun giveaways. I am rooting for a pair of dachshunds on each cover. We shall see. But never mind that. I feel hungry.

At this time of year our Ontario corn is fresh and we are all still in a mood for backyard eating experiences, especially as we get close to Labor Day and outdoor gatherings. The gatherings are much smaller than usual, but just as tasty. I am a big fan of corn on the cob, but there are so many other ways to serve it. Recently I asked FB friends to talk about their favorite summer foods: hands down the choices were fresh corn or garden tomatoes. 

Why not combine those two late summer loves?  Easy peasy!  In our semi-rural area, there are stands near many of the intersections and the corn is picked every day and sold by smiling young people. 


If you’re lucky, you’ll find fresh peppers too. But as you fiction lovers know, the path is never without a bump or two.  In this case, once I decided on this recipe, the impossible happened: there was a charcoal shortage!!!  None to be had anywhere. When I finally approached the dealer where we got our bbq/smoker many years ago, he said, and I quote. “We sold 370 bags this week. It’s a forestry product, so it’s kind of like toilet paper was back in March.”  Everything I could think of to respond was inappropriate, so I quietly put in an order and went away.  Be proud of me.  Our Jealous Devil charcoal  Is there a story there?) arrived just in the nick of time.

My recipes are always very flexible, add this, take away that, use whatever you have, you know.  So here is my “sort of recipe” for charred corn and tomato salad.  If you want, you could change it up with cilantro, lime juice, avocado and black beans!   Add anything. Take away anything. Make suggestions!

We charred our corn for dinner along with grilled steak and made the salad for lunch the next day, served with cold, sliced  (pre-grilled) steak.  We think the salad is good with any protein and makes a nice vegetarian lunch if that's how you roll.


Charred corn and tomato salad: ingredients

Four to six ears of corn, husked with silk removed. We like bi-color corn like Peaches and Cream, but any corn will do.   We  made our salad with four ears and we all loved it—even the picky son-in-law—but we think it would have been even better with six.

One large fresh tomato, seeded and chopped

1  orange bell pepper, diced (optional)

2 green onions, green part sliced

¼ - ½ cup feta cheese crumbed (depends on how salty you want it)

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Juice of one lime

1 tsp maple syrup

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

What to do?

Over a medium pre-heated grill, char corn for about 10 minutes, turning as you go. You have to keep an eye!  Cool slightly and then cut the kernels from the cobs into a bowl.  This will give it a fantastic flavor.

Chop and seed tomatoes.  

Dice bell pepper.

Slice green onion.

Add tomatoes, peppers and green onion to bowl. 

Blend oil, lemon, sea salt, pepper, maple syrup with a wire whip until well mixed. 

Toss veggies with dressing. 

Crumble in feta cheese.  Et voilà!















Enjoy your tastes of late summer. Outside I hope.  If not, this salad will bring the outside in.   Let me know what else you would choose to add.  Look out for pooches under the table hoping something will drop. 


Mary Jane Maffini is the author of three and a half mystery series: the Camilla Maffini mysteries, the Fiona Silk capers and the Charlotte Adams mysteries – number six coming soon! 


 The Charlotte Adams books have recently been optioned for television films. Details to come when they can be made public. With her daughter Victoria Maffini, MJ collaborated on The Book Collector Mysteries as Victoria Abbott. Victoria Abbott spent several happy years on Mystery Lovers Kitchen. MJ  is very glad to be back.

While we are waiting for Charlotte Adams to appear, she'd like to tempt you with some other books. For this post the right choice seems to be The Devil’s in the Details, a Camilla MacPhee mystery, chosen because of the timing.


The Devils in the Details is set during the Labor Day weekend in Ottawa (where we say Labour Day) and coincides with the International Balloon Festival. Things are going very well until Camilla discovers that she has been named next of kin for a woman she hasn’t seen in many years and who died mysteriously by falling from the escarpment behind the Supreme Court of Canada.  There are so many charming yet dangerous places in Canada’s very scenic national capital. All to say, it seems right to have a giveaway for this particular book at this time!  Just leave a comment on the post and your name will be in the hat.  Winner will win a signed copy. It’s great to be back, everyone! I look forward to hearing from you.




  1. I'd replace the green onion and feta with red onion and goat cheese.
    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  2. This looks delicious and I am so happy to have you back on the blog!

    1. Thank you! I have miss you and am quite gleeful to be back. Hugs.

  3. Looks yummy and the book sounds good too.

  4. Thanks, Alicia! Good luck in the draw.

  5. Sounds tasty, but I'm not a feta fan, so I would replace it with black beans.

    1. Black beans would be great. Thanks for coming by!

  6. Welcome back, Mary Jane! So happy to have you back in the fold and so looking forward to all your delicious recipes. Can't wait to try this one. Essie

    1. Thanks, Linda/Essie! Great to be back in the fold. Hugs.

  7. Your salad is so enticing and lovely. I would eat it as you prepared it. Perfect. Thanks for your great book giveaway.saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. Ah, a familiar name! Thanks for your comment and good luck.

  8. I would add olives. Probably kalamata olives, although black olives would be good too! Thanks for the recipe and the giveaway, and welcome back! aut1063(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. Thank you, Autumn! Nice to see you here again. Good luck!

  9. The book sounds good.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

  10. A salad which is delectable and ideal for this hot summer. Love the colors and tomato is my favorite ingredient in a salad. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

    1. Glad you like it! Good to see a comment from you again!