Even more so than corn on the cob swabbed with butter, when summer comes, I look forward to sweet, nubby corn salads loaded with vegetables and a zesty dressing. This one is my favorite of many corn salad possibilities, mostly because of the creaminess of the avocado. It's so softly pleasant on the tongue next to all those crunchy corn kernels and juicy bits of tomato. It's a perfect party salad because you can make it ahead and it can sit out all day without wilting. But once it hits the table, I guarantee it won't last long. It's just the kind of thing that people go nuts for, no matter what else is on offer.
3 ears corn, kernels sliced from cob
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional, to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large tomato, diced
2 ripe avocadoes, diced
2 scallions, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Drop in the corn and cook until just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain.
2. In a bowl, whisk together the lime juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the oil.
3. In a large bowl, combine the corn, tomato, avocadoes, scallion, and cilantro. Add the dressing and toss well to coat. Serve immediately.
If you have leftover boiled corn, you can slice off the kernels and use them for this salad, no additional boiling required. This also works with leftover grilled corn. The charred flavor is absolutely delicious.
If it's really hot out, too hot to want to put a pot of water on to boil, I'll cook the corn on the cob in the microwave, then slice off the cooked kernels when cool. The timing will vary depending on your microwave model, but usually 4 minutes will cook 3 ears of corn. (Shuck them first.)
A minced jalapeno or two spices things up nicely here.
A Dish by Another Name:
This salad is my basic template for corn salads of every stripe. Just chop up whatever you've got that needs to get eaten, and it will probably taste delicious. If you're at a loss, here are a couple of ideas:
For Corn Salad with Red Pepper, Basil, and Olives, leave out the avocados and add 1 large diced red pepper. Substitute basil for the cilantro, and lemon juice for the lime juice. Then stir in half a cup of sliced olives.
For Corn, Tomato, and Barley Salad, omit the avocado and add 1 cup cooked barley. Season with more olive oil, salt, and lime juice, to taste.
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