Charred Corn Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Sarah Remington
My mom makes a version of this salad every summer. I'll never forget just how sweet the locally grown corn on the cob is. She often tosses in whole fresh basil, but I like to put the herb into a vibrant green vinaigrette that gets even better as it sits. The salad really does become more flavorful over time, so I like to make it a few hours in advance before serving -- this makes it perfect for a summer picnic or barbecue. For an even easier version of this summer salad, you can use leftover ears of cooked corn. Simply skip the step where you char the corn on the grill and instead cut the kernels off the precooked cobs.

  • 6 ears corn, shucked 
  • Canola oil 
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper 
Basil Vinaigrette
  • 1 1/2 cups packed fresh basil leaves 
  • 1 garlic clove, grated 
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper 

  • 1 (10-ounce) container small heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved (about 2 cups) 
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1. For the corn: Preheat a grill pan or outdoor grill to high heat.

2. Brush or rub each corn cob with the canola oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put the corn on the grill and char each side, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set aside until cool enough to handle, about 5 minutes. Stand each ear up, stalk end down, in a wide, shallow bowl and, using a knife, slice the corn kernels off the cob. Set aside.

3. For the vinaigrette: In a food processor or blender, pulse the basil and garlic until the basil starts to break down. Add the vinegar. Continue pulsing while adding the oil in a steady stream, then process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

4. In a large bowl, combine the corn, tomatoes, and red onion. Drizzle the basil vinaigrette over the vegetables and toss well to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Reprinted from Kitchen Confidence by Kelsey Nixon. Copyright © 2014 by Kelsey’s Kitchen Productions LLC. Published by Clarkson Potter.

Prep time: 
20 minutes
Cook time: 
15 minutes
Total time: 
35 minutes
Serves 6 to 8
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