This is the perfect salad right now for so many reasons. First off, the star of this show is fresh corn on the cob and that happens to be available right now and is just about the best thing ever. Second, you have to do a little grilling for this, and what is summer without a little grilling? Third, if you have any pot-luck, picnic type outdoorsy soirées to attend, show up with this and you will be very popular….even more popular then you already are, if THAT’S even possible. Fourth (this is my favorite), sometimes it’s just not practical to be eating corn on – the – COB. Drippy, buttery, all up in your teeth? Um, delicious, yes, but no, not too pretty. Definitely not in a summer party dress. Last but not least (okay this is really my favorite) this is just so seriously good.
Succulent fresh corn all grilled up so that it is charred and sweetly smoky, whacked off the cob and tossed with a load of fresh herbs, green onions, baby tomatoes and salty feta cheese, dressed up for a party with a citrusy tart, garlic infused vinaigrette. Sweet, sour, salty, herbaceous heaven!
SO why are you still sitting there? Go procure yourself some sweet corn! It won’t be around long so you better hurry. This salad is about to make the crazy heat of your summer almost worth it’s weight in humidity.
Begin by getting your grill nice and hot. While that is happening go ahead and husk 5 ears of sweet corn, taking care to remove the silks. Smear ’em up with a drizzle of olive oil, onto the grill they go. Keep an eye on them and give them a turn every so often, you want to get a nice char but you don’t want to burn them. This will take about ten to fifteen minutes, depending on your grill.
Remove them and let them cool until you can handle them….
and then strip those kernels off of the cob. There are gadgets out there that make the job pretty easy (like this), but I find just running a sharp knife down the sides of the corn the old-fashioned way seems to do the trick just fine, even if it is a little messy! It also helps to do it right into a fairly large shallow bowl, to keep the scattering to a minimum.
Or at least that’s the idea.
Now it’s just a matter of a little bit of chopping.
Slice up a container of cherry tomatoes. I just cut them in half. Slice up 3 green onions. Get yourself a nice big bunch of fresh basil leaves and sliver that up. You do that by stacking the leaves (as best as you can) and rolling them up like a cigar; then slice away! If you have some fresh thyme (which is growing like crazy everywhere right now but is totally optional here so if you don’t have access to some, sweat not, and leave it out) strip the itty bitty leaves from four or five stalks and add that to your pile.
Dump it all in with your grilled corn, along with 8 oz of crumbled feta cheese. Beautiful!
For the vinaigrette take one clove of fresh garlic, and grate just half of it (resist the urge to use the whole thing…even if you really, really love GAH-LIC…just trust me here, it will overpower the delicate sweetness of the fresh corn) as finely as you can into a small bowl or cup. I used a microplane to do this, but the finest side of any box grater will work just fine. Squeeze the juice of one lime into the grated garlic, and then whisk in four tablespoons of olive oil, a pinch of kosher salt and some fresh cracked black pepper. Simple! Pour your dressing over the corn mixture and give it a gentle stir. An extra drizzle of olive oil over the top, just maybe a teaspoon or so, rounds everything out!
Oh Yum! This is really best served at room temperature, so you can dig right in! It keeps well in the fridge, travels really well, and unlike a salad with mayonnaise, holds up really well in the heat.
But I’ll take it right here on my plate. Grill a steak (chicken? fish? this salad is an equal opportunity accoutrement), slice some avocados, and just like that…summertime is once again (remember when you were a kid?), your favorite time of the year.
- 5 ears of fresh corn on the cob, husked and cleaned
- 1 container of cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3 green onions, sliced
- generous bunch of fresh basil, chopped
- leaves from 4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme (Optional)
- 8 oz crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 of a (1) fresh garlic clove, very finely minced or grated
- Juice of 1 lime
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil (plus extra for the corn and to drizzle)
- Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
- Get your grill nice and hot. Drizzle some olive oil over the corn and rub it around to coat. Grill the corn as evenly as you can on each side without burning, turning often, about fifteen minutes. Remove to cool.
- Shuck the cooled corn from the cob by running a sharp knife down the sides. It helps to position the corn in a wide mouth shallow bowl, to help keep it from scattering all over the place. Add the halved cherry tomatoes, fresh chopped thyme, fresh chopped basil, sliced green onion and feta cheese to the corn.
- Finely grate 1/2 of a clove of garlic and add to the juice of one freshly squeezed lime. Whisk in 4 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Pour this over the corn mixture. Toss gently.
- Taste for seasoning. Drizzle with some extra olive oil to taste.
- This tastes its very best at room temperature, but a night in the refrigerator did it no disservice at all. Just take it out to get the chill off for a few minutes before you serve it.
- Great as a side dish to just about anything.......ribs, BBQ chicken, salmon, steaks, etc.