I am obsessed with this corn salad. Per usual, my favorite part about it is that you can build upon it and include your favorite summer staples. I’m imagining fresh grape or cherry tomatoes and some diced avocado. Or maybe you make it Mexican style and add black olives, black beans, tomatoes and some green chiles. You could even add in some fruit to make it a sweet/savory combo, like peaches or pears.
Don’t hate, but I always felt kind of indifferent toward corn on the cob. Mostly I just hated that when I ate it, it covered my cheeks in butter and salt. I liked to keep clean when I was a child, and corn on the cob just didn’t make that possible. Plus those kernels get stuck in your teeth. Ugh, it’s just not the prettiest site. Perhaps the only acceptable place to eat it is at the Minnesota State Fair. Then I’m on board!
Now cutting the corn off the cob is an entirely different story. I can politely enjoy bursts of sweet corn flavor while eating with a fork. Win win!
How to Make Grilled Corn Salad
Heat your grill to medium-high.
Prepare the Corn | Gently peel back the husks of four ears of fresh sweet corn but don’t remove the husks completely. We need them attached for later. Remove the beards (that sticky hair at the top) and coat each ear with coconut oil. Do your best to return the husks back over the corn. It’s not a big deal if they don’t cover the corn all the way. I mean, mine looked like this:👇
But wait, I should probably go back. *DEFINITELY* do this first: Soak those corns in some water for at least 30 minutes. Because if you don’t, your husks might go up in flames like mine did right after I took this picture. It was awesome and scary at the same time, because I was standing directly above the grill! 😬
Cautionary tale, your corn will turn out like this if it catches on fire:
It does look super awesome, though. Luckily I still have my eyebrows.
So ANYWAY, as I was saying, start by soaking those guys for 30 minutes, then peel back the husks (dry the actual corn, if necessary, obviously I didn’t try this) and coat with coconut oil. Put the husks back around the corn and cook on your grill about 5 minutes per side. (Corn is kind of a cylinder, i.e. doesn’t have sides, so maybe just turn it every couple minutes for about 15-20 minutes total). You can carefully, with a tongs, peel back the husks at the end to get a little bit of char, but it’s completely optional.
Let your grilled corn rest on a cooling rack for a few minutes until it’s a safe temperature to handle. Then remove each husk (or whatever remains) and cut the corn off the cobs using a knife. Place the corn that’s been cut off all four cobs into a small mixing bowl.
To the corn, add the zest and juice of one lime, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, and ground black pepper to taste. Then stir that bad boy until everything is incorporated. Optionally you can add a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes, to taste.
That’s it! This corn salad does end up even tastier after the flavors have mingled in the fridge for a while. It’s super tasty, light and fresh all on its own, but it’s just daring you to add in your favorite summer veggies.
Here’s what I’ve dreamt up so far:
-Red or yellow bell pepper, raw or roasted
-Summer squash, sauteed in olive oil, then brought down to room temperature
-Tomatoes and peaches or pears + a little drizzle of honey (I can’t claim this idea to be my own but I know it’s delicious!)
Corn Salad Recipe (Gluten Free, Vegan)
- 4 ears sweet corn (in husk), soaked in cold water for 10 minutes
- 2-3 T. Coconut Oil
- 1 small lime (zest and juice)
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, optional
- Heat your grill to medium-high heat. Meanwhile, gently peel back the husks of your corn, but leave them in tact so you can fold them back up around the corn. Remove the beards from the top of the corn.
- Smother each ear of corn with coconut oil until it is fully coated. As best you can, fold the husks back as they were around the corn. Grill 5 minutes, flip, and grill an additional 5 minutes. If you like a little char on your corn, carefully peel back the husks at this point (careful, they'll be hot! Use tongs or an oven mitt, if possible) and grill the corn cobs directly on the heat for an additional minute or two, turning as you go.
- Allow the corn to cool for about 5 minutes. Remove the husks completely and carefully cut the corn kernels off each cob. Place kernels in a medium size bowl.
- Add the zest and juice of 1 small lime, ½ tsp. sea salt, and ground black pepper, to taste. Mix thoroughly and enjoy!
This corn salad will be my side dish staple this summer for BBQs and potlucks with many a variation. With a base recipe that’s just three ingredients (not including salt & pepper!) it’s easy to toss in your favorite fruits and veg and call it a day.