We had some friends over for dinner and grilling and summer salads were on the menu. I love balancing grilled meats with an array of salads, everything is easy to prepare and it makes summer dinner parties so easy. Leftovers are also great for sharing or for weekday lunches. It will take me a few posts to get all the recipes up, but I’ll start with this charred Corn Salad.
The Midwestern blood in me loves fresh, summer corn. Here’s a picture of me in our backyard when we lived in Indiana where we were surrounded by corn fields.
I almost always opt for simple grilled corn on the cob in the summer, but I saw this charred corn salad recipe in the July issue of Bon Appetit Magazine paired with the Barbecued Ribs with Bourbon BBQ Sauce and I decided to try them together for our dinner guests. The corn salad was the starch, I didn’t even put bread on the table. This sweetness of the corn with the fresh lime and tomatoes is the essence of summer. I used scallions instead of red onions and left out the thyme because I didn’t have any on hand. Since I wanted to make the salad ahead of time so we could enjoy our guests, I took the magazine’s suggestion and charred the corn in a cast iron skillet rather than on the grill. This one is a keeper.
CHARRED CORN SALAD WITH TOMATOES AND BASIL
8 ears of corn, husked
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
½ cup chopped scallions, green parts only
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
freshly ground pepper
Cut the corn kernels off of the cobs. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add half of the corn kernels and char the corn, stirring the kernels occasionally, for about 12 minutes. Repeat with another tablespoon of olive oil and the other half of the corn kernels. I did this in two batches because the kernels didn’t all fit in my skillet. Note: You can also rub the corn cobs with a little oil and char the corn on the grill for about 10 minutes and then cut the kernels off of the cobs after the corn has cooled.
Combine the scallions, tomatoes, basil and corn kernels in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice and 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
Toss the corn salad with the olive oil and lime juice mixture, then salt and pepper to taste.