As a person that eats salad in some form almost every day, I sometimes feel foolish for “writing a recipe” for a salad, because more often than not, the salad we have is just a bowl of vegetables that looked good at the market, chopped up and tossed with some sort of vinaigrette. But every once in a while. even the most creative cook needs a little inspiration. This salad was born at our first bbq this summer after I was lucky enough to find fresh corn and tomatoes that TASTE like tomatoes (Hello, summer!). I used a simple vinaigrette with a mild red wine vinegar as not to overpower the flavor of the fresh corn and tomatoes.
I prefer the flavor of roasted corn when used in salads, but I also like to assemble the components of this salad ahead of time so I can enjoy our guests. Instead of firing up the grill several hours before I need it, I roast the whole, unhusked corn in a 400-degree oven for 20 minutes….just enough to take the starchiness out of the corn, keeping the fresh corn flavor intact. However, if you are making this just before eating and the grill is already fired up, then go ahead and grill it. After cooling to room temperature, I remove the husks and silks and cut the corn from the cob. Always trying to keep things simple….you DON’T need to soak the corn before grilling. The husks keep it nice and moist…but not so moist that the sugars in the corn don’t caramelize.
After slicing the kernels from the cob, I chop the remaining vegetables and place on a large platter covered with plastic wrap to set on the counter until ready to toss. You can do this step several hours in advance.
Just prior to serving, toss with vinaigrette in a large salad bowl and enjoy your bbq!
This salad is great with whatever protein you are throwing on the grill this summer. It is just vinegary enough to cut the richness of the meat, yet really lets the flavor of the fresh vegetables shine. It also makes a great lunch the next day tossed with some leftover grilled chicken.
3 ears fresh corn, roasted (see instructions above) and kernels cut from the cob
2 large, fresh tomatoes (heirloom and organic if you can find them), diced
1 avocado, diced and tossed with a little lemon or lime if chopping/prepping ahead
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 large cucumber, seeded and diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (parsley or cilantro can be substituted)
1 recipe Basic Vinaigrette (using red wine vinegar for this salad)
Assemble on a platter, but don’t toss (if making ahead of time). Cover and keep at room temperature (up to 6 hours) until ready to eat. Just before serving, toss the vegetables in a large bowl with dressing (I use red wine vinaigrette) and enjoy a bit of summer on your plate.