A quick trick for cutting corn off the cob (Grilled Vegetable Salad)

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.

  1. Working with one ear of corn at a time, wedge the pointy end into the hole in the bundt pan.
  2. 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.
  3. The kernels will fall into the bundt pan for easy collecting and transferring to a pot or container.

That’s it!

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
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Recipe type: Side Dish
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Total time:
Serves/Yield: 6
Sweet summertime in a bowl, this salad or side dish steals the show with its smoky flavor and pretty colors.
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. Preheat grill to 400F and brush with olive oil.
  2. 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.
  3. Transfer to a tray or baking sheet and allow to cool enough to handle.
  4. 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.
  5. Drizzle olive oil and lime juice over the vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and torn basil. Mix well to combine.
  6. Taste salad and adjust salt, lime juice, or basil to taste.
  7. Serve warm or room temperature.

ย 

What is your favorite summertime salad?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimรฉe's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites.

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Comments

  1. We freeze our corn every summer by cutting it off the cob. I wish I had known about the bundt pan this year – it’s stinkin’ brilliant!
    Pam M’s last post: My First Foray Into Wild Edibles

  2. Thanks for the bundt pan tip! I like to do a black bean and corn salad with onions and bell peppers some lime juice and cumin.
    Steph’s last post: Free Play in Action

  3. Can I just tell you that I absolutely adore that shot of the corn being cut?!?! Great action shot!

    Love these tips!
    Brian @ A Thought For Food’s last post: Sun Tea

  4. That is one gorgeous salad Aimee! It was so nice to meet you at BSP!
    Sommer@ASpicyPerspective’s last post: Maple-Blackberry Yogurt Panna Cotta (Giveaway)

  5. Why did I never think of that Bundt pan trick?! I hate it when corn ends up all over the kitchen. Thanks for the tip. :)
    Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm’s last post: Book Review: Behold a Pale Horse

  6. Does this salad do well when it’s made ahead and refrigerated? Will it last for a couple days?
    Jennifer Jo’s last post: the beach

    • Sure, Jen, just leave the basil out of it if you are making it ahead of time. 24h is doable, 36h I’d eat it, but not serve to guests. :)

      • Danny Bourque says:

        and when she starts talking like that at 36h, at 48h I’d likely rescue it from the fridge and bring it to work for lunch before it “disappears” in the garbage.

  7. Great tip… I am always chasing kernels of corn around the kitchen when I cut them off the cob! And, this salad looks fabulous… I think I have almost all of the ingredients from this week’s CSA box, too!
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction’s last post: Friday Favorites – Episode 140

  8. Love this tip!
    Shaina’s last post: White Wine Risotto with Roasted Vegetables

  9. Thanks for the great tip, Aimee! The salad looks beautiful!
    Mary Miller | A Passionate Plate’s last post: Blackberry Chipotle Jelly

  10. Elizabeth says:

    The bundt pan is a great idea. We grow lots of corn and freeze it to use all winter so I use on electric knife for speed but the bundt pan would save a bit of mess.

  11. What a fantastic idea! I love using already-on-hand tools for new kitchen missions. I can’t wait to try this out–we have the same deal down here in Louisville, KY–sweet corn coming out of OUR ears! Beautiful recipe as well :)
    Shannon’s last post: Snack Attack! Heirloom Tomato and Watermelons?!

  12. Sigh… more grilling. I have no grill. I feel so unloved this time of year.

  13. Amazing tip! I never thought of this before! Of course I don’t have a bundt pan…but my mom does and she probably wouldn’t notice if I swiped it (she lives next door). And great recipe as well!
    Heather’s last post: what i am eating #5

  14. That’s really brilliant! I remember growing up my Mother bought this … machine that did it, but it was as likely to skin off your hand as to cut the corn, I like this way much better!
    Durante’s last post: Comment on Daily Dose โ€“ 8/14/2012; Cars, Tires, and Heat by omama

  15. Do you compost the rest?

  16. Do you cook the corn before cutting it off the cobs?

  17. Beautiful summer salad.
    Good Food Good Friends’s last post: Maple Bacon Waffles

  18. You just saved a whole big mess in my kitchen. Thanks!!
    Emily @Random Recycling’s last post: Gardening and Generosity

  19. I love this idea! It makes me feel silly that I never thought if it–which, of course, is always the sign of a great idea. LOVE corn; hate picking it up off the floor. :) Will be trying this next time.
    Wendy Lawrence’s last post: Make friends with your kids and win an Ivy and Bean book

  20. Love the bundt pan tip! Beautiful grilled salad!
    Tracy’s last post: Corn and Summer Squash Cakes

  21. Fantastic trick! I love the photo with corn flying in the air! :-)

  22. Brilliant! Will be trying this next time. Thank you for sharing.
    Violett’s last post: fine art digital printing

  23. I just wrote about one of my favorite summertime salads: Tabbouleh. Now I think it would be even better with some grilled sweet corn, yum! Thanks for the inspiration!
    Mel@TheDizzyMom’s last post: Tabbouleh

  24. WOW great idea..thanks!! i am getting corn today to freeze as a matter of fact…i love this idea

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