Grilled Corn and Tomato Salad

You may find this a little strange, but the day that I spot those bright yellow ears of corn at the market is arguably one of the best days of my entire year.  I live for corn season.  I get a little too excited about corn, and I always end up buying way too much.  I go into a corn frenzy and stock up as if I will never be able to eat corn again.  I come back from the market, arms full of corn.  I love testing out new recipes and finding fun new ways to cook those kernels into my daily meals.

When you are buying fresh corn, look for ears of corn that still have the husks intact.  Take a quick sniff.  The corn should smell fresh and, well, like corn.  When you shuck the corn and open up those husks, your corn should have bright kernels.  The corn with bright yellow and white kernels is always the best.  It just means that the corn is super sweet and full of flavor.

Fresh corn just reminds me of summer.  One great way to use all of this fresh summer produce is in a colorful corn salad.  I put this delicious vegetable to good use by charring the corn on the cob.  You will hear the kernels pop and burst as they hit the hot grill.  I cut the warm grilled kernels off of the cob and toss them with sweet cherry tomatoes, red onion, and fresh basil vinaigrette.  This salad packs a fresh punch.  I love serving it as a side dish for a summer picnic or an outdoor barbecue party.  It will be great however you decide to eat it!

Grilled Corn and Tomato Salad

Serves 6 to 8

Salad:

  • 6 ears of corn, shucked
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 red onion, diced

Vinaigrette:

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Salad:

  1. Place a grill pan over medium-high heat.  Brush the corn all over with the canola oil.  Grill the corn for 12 to 15 minutes total, turning occasionally, until the corn is nicely charred on all sides.  Set aside and let cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, cut the corn kernels off of the cob and place in a large bowl.  Add the tomatoes and onion.
Vinaigrette:
  1. Place the basil and garlic in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.  Add the vinegar and olive oil and blend until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

One thing to remember: if you can, try to make this salad one day before you plan to serve it.  The longer you let the flavors mingle and merry together, the better it will taste.

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