Fresh summer corn is definitely one of life’s simple, old-fashioned pleasures. I will drive way out of my way to a local farm stand to buy farm fresh corn in the summer. This simple summer salad is easy to make but full of fresh seasonal flavor: sweet, crisp-tender corn, fresh basil, plus a little zing from red onions and a tangy dressing made of cider vinegar and olive oil. This dish would be great for entertaining, and could easily be multiplied to feed a crowd.
The most time-consuming part of this dish is prepping the corn, so I prepared the corn the day before I made the salad (blanching, cooling in an ice water bath, and cutting the kernels off the cob). I then stored the cut kernels in a container in the fridge until the next day. When it was time to make the salad, I diced the onions and finished assembling the rest of ingredients. Basil bruises easily so I julienned it right before I served the salad. This way it looked as fresh and pretty as possible.
I served the corn salad with grilled chicken, smoked sausage and a few other summery sides. Enjoy!
Fresh Corn Salad
-recipe from Ina Garten: The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
For a particularly beautiful salad, you can mix white and yellow corn. Don’t substitute frozen corn; it doesn’t have the texture or flavor you want in a fresh salad.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
5 ears of corn, shucked
1/2 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup julienned 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 to set the color. 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.
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