When fresh corn and tomatoes are at their summer best, this easy salad with creamy avocados that’s simply dressed with a hint of Mexican jalapeño, lime juice, and garlic, is a healthy recipe that’s sure to become the star side dish of every potluck and barbecue you make it for.
Corn. It’s my husband’s veggie kryptonite. Me? Avocado and tomato are what light my fire.
And the combo of all three is what’s kept this summer salad in regular rotation on our dinner table, and we’re barely into June!
The simple flavors of this salad is in it’s combination of fresh, sweet corn on the cob (that’s even sweeter after a sear on the grill) added to creamy avocado and juicy tomatoes, is hands down this summer’s salad-facsimile of the little black dress—because it literally goes with everything.
Playing With Fire by Michael Symon
This side salad recipe comes from Iron Chef and The Chew Host Michael Symon’s new cookbook Playing With Fire:BBQ and More from the Grill, Smoker, and Fireplace where he shares loads of tips, tricks, and totally achievable grilling and barbeque recipes that any home chef can master.
While minimalist in the number of ingredients they call for, Iron Chef’ Symon’s recipes are still unique and inspiring—think Grilled Lamb Chops with Lavender Salt and Fire-Braised Chicken Barbacoa—that add a step-up to traditional grilling favorites.
But while Symon creates delicious-looking recipes for all the favorite proteins like pork, beef, chicken, seafood, and lamb—plus some killer bbq sauces, relishes, and rubs— for some reason it was his chapter on vegetables and sides that caught my eye.
Stirke that. It was the vegetable and sides chapter that caught my husband’s eye. May I repeat…corn is his kryptonite. And it’s about to become yours too.
How to Make This Grilled Corn Salad
Like so many of the recipes in Michael Symon’s Playing With Fire cookbook, the list of ingredients for this salad recipe is short but still loaded with flavor, and best when using the freshest of ingredients you can find.
Corn is the cornerstone of this recipe (get it? ‘corn’erstone?) and sweet summer corn that’s been sweetened even more by cooking it on the grill adds yet another layer of flavor you won’t get with boiled or frozen corn—although both would make acceptable substitutes if you have an out-of-season craving that must be served. Because the reality is, it happens.
Cooking corn on the grill concentrates the sugars just a bit more for an even sweeter bite thanks to caramelization, and adds a touch of smoky flavor, too.
How to Make Grilled Corn
While Symon suggests soaking the corn in their husks in water overnight, I’ve found this step unnecessary and I share why in my post for How to Grill the Best Grilled Corn. I found soaking the corn didn’t add much flavor, and instead the real key is not overcooking it, so the corn on the cob stays fresh-tasting, sweet, and crunchy.
When corn is overcooked it can become chewy. This is due to the longer exposure to heat breaks down the corn’s cell walls and the sugars take over, leading the kernels to lose their crunch.
If you’re looking for more grill marks on your corn kernels for that grilled corn presentation, let the husks rest longer on each side while grilling so the heat permeates the husk and colors the kernels. Or, you could always peel the husks and silk back from the cob and give the bare kernels a grilled sear.
The Corn Salad Dressing
This dressing is so simple, yet so flavorful, it’s deceiving. It’s also really similar to the dressing I use in my Southwest Quinoa and Grilled Corn Salad because my friends, it’s all about the limes, folks!
If you’re on hot-jalapeño-watch, be sure to trim the seeds and ribs from the fresh jalapeños to keep their spiced heat at a minimum since that’s where they hold all their heat. Then, simple whisk together with the fresh lime juice, garlic, and kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
While Symon didn’t add any sweetener to his dressing recipe, after tasting it I fell back into my flavor ways and sweetened mine with sugar. I felt it was just a bit too acidic and called for a bit of balance. Honey would work well too. But if you’re averse to more sugar, try it without first.
More Corn Recipes You Might Like Too
There’s more than one way to nibble a cob of corn, and these recipes are sure to inspire you to keep your corn-love strong, all summer long.
- How to Make the Best Easy Grilled Corn On the Cob
- Charred Corn with Rosemary Grilled Pizza
- Latin Chipotle Quinoa Salad with Avocado
- Southwest Quinoa and Grilled Corn Salad
- Grilled Corn with Spicy Buffalo Butter
- Zucchini and Fresh Corn Farmers’ Market Salad with Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette
- Chilled Corn and Crab Soup Recipe
- 10 Best Corn Recipes to Try Now
- 4 ears sweet corn
- 1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
- 1 jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed, then minced
- Kosher salt
- Zest and juice of 2 limes
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 ripe avocados, halved, pitted, peeled and diced
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 6 scallions, thinly sliced
- ½ cup finely chopped fresh cilatnro leaves
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the grill to medium heat.
- Put the corn, still in its husks, on the grill, cover, and cook for 20 minutes rotating the corn cobs every 5 minutes or so.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix to combine the garlic, jalapeño, and a large pinch of kosher salt. Add the lime zest, lime juice, and olive oil and whisk to combine. Add the avocado, tomatoes, scallions, and cilantro and toss gently to combine.
- Remove the corn from the grill. When cool enough to handle, peel back the silk, and slice the kernels off the cobs directly into the bowl with a knife. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
Recipe Ideas to Add to This Salad and Make a Meal
- Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken
- How to Make the Best Potato Salad
- Grilled Kale and Avocado Salad
- Margarita Sangria
- Banana Mango Piña Colada Parfaits
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