This grilled corn salad is the perfect summer salad! Bright splashes of lime dance on top of the deep smoky flavors of roasted corn, peppers, and paprika!
As one of my favorite summer recipes, I like making this recipe with my leftover grilled corn on the cob. However, if you don't have any on hand, don't worry. You can use frozen or canned corn (drained) as well. Just throw it in a skillet with 2 tablespoons of cooking oil and set it on medium-high heat. The corn will quickly develop a beautiful char.
This salad is great for a healthy lunch or a perfect pot luck dish! Actually, this recipe has been one of my go-to pot luck dishes for years!
Ingredients you will need
- Sweet corn - Fresh sweet corn is best, but frozen or canned can be substituted as well.
- Red onion - Other onions can be substituted but red onion is best.
- Cherry tomatoes - Or substitute chopped vine-ripened tomatoes if they are in-season.
- Poblano pepper - This has a mild spiciness to it, use a sweet pepper instead if desired.
- Cilantro -
- Smoked paprika - Regular or sweet paprika can be substituted but I think smoked works best in a grilled salad.
- Lime juice - Fresh lime or bottled lime juice works.
- Extra virgin olive oil - Reach for extra virgin whenever you aren't cooking the oil.
How to make it
The key to making a good grilled salad is charring the corn kernels. The easiest way to do that is to grill corn on the cob, however, this isn't required. You can also add cooking oil to a large skillet and char canned or frozen corn kernels in the skillet for the same effect. Just make sure the canned kernels and drained, and the frozen kernels are thawed.
The Salad Dressing
The dressing for this salad is exceedingly simple. Extra virgin olive oil and lime juice form the base of the dressing, creating a satisfyingly bright contrast to the roasted flavors. This is also counterbalanced by the smoked paprika seasoning the salad.
The pepper should be charred as well. Once again, this can be done on the grill, or in a skillet. If using a skillet, briefly saute the garlic as well to enhance its flavor.
Tip: Mellow the flavor of the onion by rinsing it in water.
Mix the corn salad ingredients in a large bowl and season generously with salt and pepper to taste. Cilantro can be sprinkled on top or mixed in as well.
Can this salad Be Made in Advance?
This salad tastes great when made in advance, however, the texture will suffer. For best results I recommend making this salad an hour in advance of serving. This gives a bit of time for the flavors to meld together. When the salad is prepared the day prior the onions will soften up a lot and the salt extracts liquid out of the produce, throwing the crisp texture of the dish off.
Tips and Tricks
If fresh corn on the cob is not in season, use 3 cups of frozen or canned corn kernels.
This is an easy recipe to customize for your own tastes. Spice it up by using jalapeno instead of poblano peppers, or add a little creaminess with chopped avocado.
You can use red onions in this dish, but if you want to kick up the flavor some more I highly recommend checking out my quick pickled red onion recipe. It takes no time at all to assemble and its tangy flavor really jumps out of this salad. It’s a great recipe to keep in your back pocket because it compliments so many different dishes!
Although this is a great dish to enjoy on its own, I recommend pairing your grilled corn salad with any of the below suggestions to make a complete meal!
More Summer Salad Recipes
Grilled Corn Salad
- 6 ears sweet corn (husked)
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- ¼ medium red onion (thinly sliced)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 poblano pepper (chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ cup lime juice (~2 small limes)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher Salt and Fresh ground pepper
- Boil corn on the cob until soft.
- Rub corn with 1 tablespoon cooking oil and then char on a grill, or skillet, until slightly charred.
- Cut kernels from cob and place in large bowl.
- Add 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet and briefly saute poblano pepper over medium-high heat to char the exterior of the pepper while retaining some crispness. Lower heat and saute garlic until fragrant. (alternatively, the pepper can be grilled and garlic roasted instead)
- Rinse sliced onion in a strainer and rinse with cold water to mellow its flavor then drain well.
- Mix onion, 2 tablespoons olive oil, tomato, garlic, lime juice, pepper, and paprika with the corn.
- Season generously with salt and pepper to taste
- Top with cilantro and serve.
This recipe was originally published June 8, 2015 on FoxValleyFoodie.com.