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With just four ingredients and a lively vinaigrette, this grilled corn salad recipe with fresh tomatoes will compliment every summer meal!
I keep this grilled corn salad recipe around for a dozen or so good reasons, but chiefly because at the end of the season, I am kind of numb as to what to do with all of the corn and all of the tomatoes coming in. Additionally, this is super quick, tastes incredible, and looks pretty no matter what you put it on. Tonight, it appears on our table as a side dish to my
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and my Perfectly PERFECT Barbecued Chicken Drumsticks, among other things.
Make the most of the last of summer’s fresh produce. This easy and fresh Corn & Tomato Salad retains its brightness and flavor well for summer picnics.
Simply grill or blanch the ears of corn, allow to cool, then cut the kernels right from the cob. The tomatoes are the fun part because any variety goes.
Be colorful and pick a mix of orange, yellow, and red tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes need only be halved and small Campari’s which is what I am using here, are quartered. And as you can see, I am still trying to use up all of this purple basil!
What should I do with all of these tomatoes?
I always make this for family events and parties. It reminds me of all the fun barbecues and picnics held after our town’s annual Founders’ Parade when I was a little kid.
Fresh corn and basil make a huge difference in this recipe because they make a delicious pairing that also adds a boost of color to your table. And this is an EXCELLENT way of using up without waste, all of those beautiful summer tomatoes.
Fresh Corn & Tomato Salad combines fresh corn, sun-ripened, beautifully golden tomatoes, fresh basil, and minced red onion with a surprisingly delicious vinaigrette made with ground cumin and lime juice.
The acid complements the corn’s natural sweetness and balances the liveliness of the tomatoes. The salad becomes a crunchy, flavorful topping for a platter of cheesy nachos, a condiment atop char-grilled brats on toasty buns, a boost to grilled fish and fish tacos, and of course, a gorgeous and bright side dish for any picnic or barbecue occasion.
This straightforward corn and tomato salad recipe requires so few ingredients and is chock-full of the tastes of summer!
About 10 years ago, I received an email from a college friend I had taken a public speaking class with. In her message were links to dozens of recipes for corn and tomatoes.
Corn Salad, Tomato Salad, and Summer Salad just to name a few. I felt like they were all basically the same-ish recipe, all but for this one that omitted red wine vinegar and added in fresh lime juice.
The other fantastic ingredient was ground cumin. Now this was taking on a bit of a Mexican flavor profile I thought, so I gave it a whirl.
Fresh Corn & Tomato Salad is a fantastic summer salad. It is incredibly fresh minus any fuss.
I had a couple of big tomatoes sitting on my kitchen windowsill but no little ones. So, I made a quick dash up the road to a farm stand to grab sweet corn and some baby grape tomatoes.
I wanted the salad fresh, so I made it moments before everybody arrived, although I had grilled the corn about 30 minutes earlier. When even my neighbor’s 6-year-old son ate it (and went back for seconds and then thirds!), I knew I should probably hang onto it.
That, and it was a no cook (except for grilling the corn kernels which I purposely did) kind of food and that was okay with me. A little olive oil and some salt and fresh pepper and it was an instant salad.
The article specifically said to serve this at room temperature, and I agree wholeheartedly.
Keep in mind that the measurements of the vegetables in this fresh salad do not have to be precise. For example, if you have extra ears of corn, cut those kernels, and toss them in. Add or hold back on the number of tomatoes you incorporate – this dish will still turn out scrumptious!
I have made variations of this quasi Mexican corn salad and added everything from mozzarella to sliced cucumbers. If I am honest, this corn and tomato salad with lime juice and cumin is fantastic just the way it is.
If you think it requires texture the most, I will add would be crumbled Cojita or Feta and be done. Keep in mind this is a fresh corn salad, but frozen corn may be substituted.
The tomatoes should be fresh regardless. Sun-dried tomatoes have their place, but it is not in this recipe.
Can I make this salad ahead of time?
By all means. This really is the ultimate make ahead dish and will hold in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
I do recommend however, pulling it from the fridge and giving it a good stir about an hour before you will use it, so it has time to come to room temperature.
Do I need to cook the corn?
Not if you don’t want to. Corn kernels are fine to eat raw.
This salad is as simple as it gets, so if you need to or prefer to skip the grilling or blanching, do. Keep in mind however that by lightly grilling and subsequently charring your ears of corn, you are in fact caramelizing the natural sugars which offer BIG flavor in this grilled corn salad recipe.
If you do decide to grill your corn first, you need only minimal char marks from your grill. I brush with ghee or melted butter and keep the ears moving over the grill.
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
Fresh Corn & Tomato Salad
- 2 ears corn, grilled or raw, kernels cut from the cob
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or larger varieties quartered
- ½ bunch fresh sweet or purple basil, stems removed, leaves chopped
- ½ small red onion, chopped small, about 1/2 cup
- 2 tablespoons quality olive oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- Whisk together the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the lime juice, cumin, and salt and pepper in a small bowl and set aside.
- Add the corn kernels to a large bowl, along with the tomatoes and the chopped onion and basil.
- Pour the lime vinaigrette over the vegetables and toss well to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate any unused portions.
The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.
Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.