Let it be known that I would be perfectly content to eat sweet corn, rolled in butter and sprinkled with salt, for the rest of all time. It’s the taste of late summer, of my childhood. And I gorge on it for the glorious month or so that it’s around, like every good Midwesterner should.
A few years ago, I discovered the wonder that fresh corn is in salad form. Sweet and crunchy – it’s the candy of salads. But my go-to favorite corn salad of recent years isn’t an option for me anymore because fresh basil and I aren’t exactly on speaking terms anymore.
This summer, I started dreaming about a Mexican variation on my beloved corn salad. Instead of fresh corn, I wanted it grilled. I wanted it partnered with all of its summery buddies: cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, green onions. And I wanted the dressing to pack a delicious punch.
Lime juice and its glorious zest, honey, plenty of cilantro, garlic, jalapeño, olive oil
…aaaaaaand you shake it all about.
Then you try not to bathe in it. When I was making this, I kept taste-testing it with slices of bell pepper until I realized that I might not have enough for the salad. It was a little bit of a dressing frenzy.
We ate this with some Mexican marinated chicken. I ended up eating the leftovers for a second breakfast the next day, using it as a sort of a salsa for chips and ate the entire rest of the bowl. I won’t tell if you do the same.
(recipe by Carpé Season)
(yields app. 8 c. of salad)
This easy grilled corn salad tastes of all things summer - works great as a side dish or as a chunky corn salsa.
For the Salad:
5 ears sweet corn
3/4 c. green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
(optional: 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced)
For the Dressing:
1/3 c. + 1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. lime juice (from about a 1/2 lime)
1 tsp. lime zest
1 tbsp. honey
1/2 c. cilantro, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 jalapeño, seeded and minced
salt & pepper to taste
Grill the Corn:
Detassel & husk your corn, but not entirely. Leave a thin layer of the husk on. Soak your corn in cold water for 20 minutes. While the corn soaks, heat your grill to medium/hot. Once corn has soaked, grill corn for about 20 minutes - turning frequently. You'll know the corn is done when the husks start to char and show kernel outlines. I like to really "char" my corn, so I leave them on until the husks begin to peel away a bit and I can see that the kernels are getting nice and browned.
Remove from grill and allow to cool.
(Note: I used my food processor to really finely mince the garlic, cilantro, and jalapeño together, but fine mincing by knife will do just fine!)
In a tightly-lidded container, mix all dressing ingredients together, shaking vigorously. Make sure to shake again just before pouring over salad.
Once corn is cooled, use a sharp knife to cut corn away from the cob. Add cut corn to the green onions, tomatoes, and bell pepper, and mix. Pour about 3/4 of the dressing you made over the salad, stirring gently to mix. Add more dressing to taste.
This salad can be made ahead of time and allowed to sit out ( NOT in the fridge) for about an hour to let the flavors meld.
I like to serve this salad with the avocado slices placed on the side to avoid the mushiness that can come when you add avocado into the salad.
Best served the same day, but leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.