“Gather your corn ears while ye may . . .” — A Patti Smith quote, I think, but particularly apt in the remaining days of September and early October. The corn fields have given way to mazes (maizes?) that tend to stump only me as parades of children run by giggling. Or are the fields sheltering those same children with homicidal intent? What I’m saying is that corn fields (and children) are terrifying in equal measure. And, like my gym teacher told me when she tried to teach me to square-dance,
shut up and promenade, you do-si-ho, swallow your fear, and it shall set you free. In fact, that probably applies here: swallow your corn ears while ye may, particularly in the form of this charred corn salad.
This fine specimen possesses all the best salad features: yummy dressing (goooood), cheese (goooood), fresh herbs (gooood), tomatoes (meh), and most importantly, CORN! (as in what’s that in your teeth? *Julia Roberts laugh*) Though you might be purchasing fisherman sweaters like you live off the coast of Maine, let’s be honest: it’s still pretty warm where most of us live. And that means we should take advantage of the death rattle of grilling season. You may have traded your iced americano for an extra hot quintuple honey spiced fennel latte and your brats for a pot roast, but I implore you to dust the grill off one more time for this salad. The flavors grilling imparts aren’t necessarily critical, but they do provide depth and dimension to an already satisfactory dish.
Lastly, I want to tell you how simple this salad is. Basically all one must do to complete it is grill corn and then assemble ingredients. You can make it a day ahead (though add cheese just prior to serving), make it for a crowd, make it and immediately consume it, make it and use it as confetti (I think I saw that on pinterest). The recipe definitely yields enough for that, so feel free to half the ingredients if cooking for a smaller group. But we here at Buttertooth go big or go home, or rather go big and then go home anyway. To eat. This salad. And a lot of other stuff too.
Charred Corn Salad
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 8-10 people
- 6 Ears of corn, shucked
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
- ¼ red onion, finely diced
- 4 ounces crumbled feta
- 1 bunch fresh basil leaves, julienned
- ½ cup green onion, chopped
- Zest and juice of one lemon
- 2 cloves of garlic, grated
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your grill or grill pan to high heat (medium high if using the stovetop). Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the ears of corn, massaging it in to ensure the corn is well coated. Season each ear with salt and pepper.
- Grill the corn for approximately 2 minutes on each side. You want to char and cook the corn, so let your own sense of char guide you.
- Set the corn aside to cool slightly while you prepare the other ingredients. Whisk the dressing in a separate bowl and set aside.
- Cut the corn off the cob and place the kernels in a large bowl. Add all the other ingredients, and then fold the dressing in. Serve immediately, or let it rest until ready for serving.