We can’t drive two miles east or west from our house without passing a roadside market hawking local sweet corn on the cob. The boys spot the signs – usually an upright ear of corn with arm and legs and a happy face – and shriek “CORN!” in unison from the back seat.
I swing off the road and a few minutes later we are back on our way, with a baker’s dozen fresh ears of corn tucked away at their feet for our dinner. Barefoot on the back lawn, the kids do the shucking – I insist – complete with gathering up the husks and disposing of them on the compost.
It’s that time of year when I’m adding handfuls of fresh corn to everything – tacos, muffins, rice, soups, chicken pot pie, and salads, like the grilled vegetable salad below. Read on for the recipe and a handy tip for cutting corn off the cob.
Tips for Cutting Corn off the Cob
A dozen ears of corn takes up a lot of valuable real estate in the refrigerator, but slicing it off the cob first frees up the space and preps it for dinner. If you’re not planning to use the corn right away, give it a quick cook, cool it down, and freeze the kernels in small freezer bags for another day.
Here’s how I attack a dozen ears in under five minutes:
Materials: Sharp chef’s or santoku knife, large bundt cake pan, tray or baking sheet.
- Working with one ear of corn at a time, wedge the pointy end into the hole in the bundt pan.
- Hold the top of the corn cob firmly, and use the knife to slice from top to bottom, letting the blade run right along the cob.
- The kernels will fall into the bundt pan for easy collecting and transferring to a pot or container.
Grilled Summer Vegetable Salad
In summer, I grill as many salads as I do burgers and steak, and this one ranks up in my top five. I try and spoon as many mouthfuls of this salad in as I possibly can before August is over, and with it, the end of our corn season.
Sure, you could just grill the vegetables and serve them up on a platter with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt, but taking the extra step to cube the ingredients makes all the difference.
Sometime I switch out red onion for green – grilling them, white bulbs and all; other times I change up the color of the sweet pepper, zucchini, or use an alternative herb, but the grilled corn is a constant.
Serve this salad warm or room temperature, just not cold, please!
|Grilled Summer Vegetable Salad|| || |
- 2 cobs of fresh corn, whole, cooked
- 2 medium red bell pepper, halved, seeded
- 2 medium green zucchini, sliced lengthwise
- 1 small red onion, cut into wedges
- 4-6 large leaves of basil, torn
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- juice of 1/2 lime
- Preheat grill to 400F and brush with olive oil.
- Grill corn, peppers, zucchini and red onion until all are softened slightly and have some grill marks. You want them to have a bit of crunch, but be mostly cooked.
- Transfer to a tray or baking sheet and allow to cool enough to handle.
- Roughly (or nicely - your call) chop the onion, peppers and zucchini and transfer to a large bowl. Cut the corn off the cob and add it to the bowl also.
- Drizzle olive oil and lime juice over the vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and torn basil. Mix well to combine.
- Taste salad and adjust salt, lime juice, or basil to taste.
- Serve warm or room temperature.
What is your favorite summertime salad?