Fresh Corn Salad

A group of friends and I were talking about things we like to make for dinner a couple of weeks ago, when one mentioned her relatively recently acquired love of all things barbecue. And that, inevitably, led to a discussion about side dishes.

There has been a lot of recipes lately for grilled corn, which sounds delicious (especially when there is also talk about chili-lime butter to spread on after), but I am a sad city dweller with no patio/balcony/deck and, subsequently, no hibachi/grill/barbecue. But that doesn’t mean that I miss out when corn is in season.

Corn on the cob

Every summer I make a few rounds of Fresh Corn Salad, when corn on the cob is ripe and basil is plentiful at the Farmer’s Market. There are only seven ingredients in this salad, and that includes the dressing.

This is really easy to throw together and well worth the effort. (Okay, maybe the actual cutting-the-corn-off-the-cob is a bit messy.) (I recently saw this gadget that strips the kernels from the cob and while I love all things gadgety, even I feel that’s a bit much.)

I did initially have a tough time finding cider vinegar, but then found some at my local Safeway (along with another much-loved Barefoot Contessa ingredient: champagne vinegar. Um, actually, I just looked and mine is “champagne style.” What can I say? I’m a champagne girl on a “champagne-style” budget.) They come in pretty small bottles, but I don’t use cider vinegar all that often, so it works out.

basil and red onion

Corn off the cob

Fresh Corn Salad

This recipe is from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook.

Fresh Corn Salad

  • 5 ears corn, shucked
  • 1/2 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)
  • 3 tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. good olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chiffonade fresh basil leaves

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the corn for 3 minutes until the starchiness is just gone. Drain and immerse it in ice water to stop the cooking and set the colour. When the corn is cool, cut the kernels off the cob, cutting close to the cob.

Toss the kernels in a large bowl with the red onions, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Just before serving, toss in the fresh basil. Taste for seasonings and serve cold or at room temperature.

  4 comments for “Fresh Corn Salad

  1. August 4, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    This corn salad hits the spot. I can’t wait to make this for the next barbecue. Thanks!

  2. pp
    August 24, 2008 at 11:31 am

    I wonder why cook the corn, if it’s so sweet when just picked?

  3. patentandthepantry
    August 25, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    Good question. I think it cuts the slight starchiness you get with raw corn. It’s only in the boiling water for a couple of minutes and remains quite sweet.

  4. November 15, 2008 at 8:46 am

    Just stumbled onto your blog through Tastespotting.

    Mmmm…this looks yummy, especially now when summer corn is a thing of the past. There’s a good trick to cutting corn that I learned (who knows where)–put a smaller bowl upside down in the larger bowl that you’ll be using to make the salad in. Prop the cob on that bowl and cut away…the kernels fall right into the bowl where you need them (and you don’t miss any of those sweet juices that run out). No fancy corn cutter needed!

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