Delicious, healthy and make-ahead, this Fresh Corn Salad is perfect for picnics, parties and potlucks. Leftovers are wonderful for lunch and dinner salads.
Have you noticed the beautiful corn that’s been showing up at the markets lately? Several of our local grocery stores have been displaying it right up front, mounded high in huge bins. And the price has been too good to resist! I’ve been filling up big bagfuls each time I shop, and this Fresh Corn Salad is one of our favorite recipes of the season!
We’ve enjoyed it with grilled entrees, sandwiches, quesadillas, pizzas and as a salsa on tacos. To be honest, we’ve enjoyed so much of this fresh corn salad that I’m wondering if our skin might soon take on a yellowish hue! Oh well… it’s so delicious, it would be worth it.
The ingredient list for this Fresh Corn Salad is really simple. Lots of fresh corn (15 ears!), red onion, yellow bell pepper, jalapeno and cilantro. (Not a cilantro fan? Fresh basil is also delicious!)
I adapted the delicious honey lime dressing from our super popular Mexican Chopped Salad recipe. It’s one of those incredibly easy, throw-it-all-in-a-jar-and-shake recipes. The dressing is sweet, tangy and so versatile that I like to make a double or triple batch and use it on lots of other salads.
This salad is the perfect dish to bring to picnics, potlucks and parties as it makes a big bowlful and is a wonderful crowd-pleaser. If (by unlikely chance) you have a bit leftover it keeps really well for several days and makes a great side for lunch or dinner. If you want to make it but don’t need such a big batch, just halve the recipe. When the bowl’s empty though, you’ll probably wish you had made more, just saying…
The easy way to prepare fresh corn
The only thing that will take a bit of time with this Fresh Corn Salad is preparing the corn. If you have a microwave, however, this won’t take long.
The corn should be “barely” cooked for this salad as you want it to have a nice crunch, but take away the “raw” flavor. When it’s perfectly cooked, the corn will take on a deeper hue of yellow, but the kernels will still be nice and plump, not shriveled.
This is how I do it:
- Leave the corn in the husk. Do not peel. This ensures that the corn stays nice and moist as it cooks. Also, the husk and silk will be much easier to remove after cooking vs before.
- Place two ears at a time in the microwave. Cook for 3-4 minutes on high power. This will vary a bit from microwave to microwave. You’ll have to experiment a bit with your microwave. Start with 3 minutes for the first two ears of corn. Allow them to cool a bit then pull back a little of the husk. The corn should be a deeper shade of yellow. If it’s not, give it another 30-60 seconds of cooking time. Once you figure out how long your microwave takes to cook corn perfectly, proceed to microwave the other ears, two at a time.
- Remove the corn carefully from the microwave with an oven mitt or pot holder (it will be hot!). Allow it to cool until you can handle it, about 5 minutes.
- Cut off the lower end of the ears, about 1 1/2 inches from the pointed end. Pull back husk and silks (almost all of the silk should easily pull away). Check ears for any residual silk and remove.
- Lay an ear down on a cutting surface. Slice a strip of kernels lengthwise then rotate so the flat, cut side is against the cutting board. Continue slicing strips and rotating the ear till all corn is removed.
- When slicing corn off of the cob, don’t go too deep, you want just the kernels, not the cob! There shouldn’t be much resistance at all as you slice. If there is, you’re probably slicing into the cob.
Make this your go-to summer salad!
Café Tips for making this Fresh Corn Salad
- You can make this salad a day in advance. If you want it to look really pretty, add the herbs right before serving and stir to combine. Sprinkle some extra herbs on top of the salad.
- For the best flavor, use corn soon after buying. It’s okay to store it in the fridge for a day or so, but the fresher the better!
- For a pretty presentation, chop the red onion and the bell pepper about the same size. I use my beloved Vidalia Chop Wizard for this recipe. It takes less than a minute to chop all of the veggies for this salad. This little kitchen workhorse is not expensive and makes a wonderful gift for anyone who loves to cook. Here is a little demo of how it works:
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear other’s results and ideas for variations.
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 clove garlic finely minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 15 ears corn
- 1 medium red onion diced in 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper diced in 1/4-inch pieces
- 2 medium jalapeño finely chopped
- ¾ cup finely chopped cilantro plus whole cilantro leaves for garnish if desired
Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake, shake, shake. Set aside.
Place corn, two ears at a time, in the microwave and cook for 3-4 minutes (see notes above in post about preparing corn). Remove from microwave with a hot pad and allow to cool for 5 minutes. After cooling, cut bottom end of corn off, about 1 1/2 inches from end. Pull back husk and silks from the top (almost all of the silk should easily pull away). Slice kernels from husks and set aside.
Combine corn, onion, bell pepper, jalapeño and herbs in a large bowl. Stir gently to combine. Add about 1/4 cup of the dressing and stir to coat all ingredients. Taste and add more dressing if needed or serve extra dressing at the table.
Garnish with cilantro leaves, if desired.
See Café Tips above in post for more detailed instructions and extra tips.
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