This Fresh Summer Corn Salad is the best side dish to bring to a BBQ, cookout or picnic! Using fresh summer produce, it can be made ahead of time and tastes like summer!
Welcome to my new favorite side dish – the Fresh Summer Corn Salad! I know the kids are going back to school, but in my opinion it is STILL SUMMER! I’m not ready for fall yet. One thing that always represents summer to me is fresh corn on the cob. Normally I’m a purist and will eat corn on the cob with a little salt and butter and be happy. I often grill it like I did in this Charred Grilled Corn recipe. But I was ready to branch out and find different recipes to use corn in, and that was how this corn salad was born!
This Corn Salad is the epitome of late summer produce. Fresh corn on the cob, sweet red bell pepper and lots of fresh basil. Then some shallot for extra flavor and avocado to add creaminess. A simple lemon and olive oil dressing lets the flavors shine. The lemon also keeps the avocado from turning brown, so this can be made ahead of time!
This corn salad uses cooked corn on the cob. There are so many ways to cook corn on the cob, but here are my three favorite ways:
The best ways to cook corn on the cob:
How to boil corn on the cob:
- Fill a large pot with cold water, bring to a boil.
- Add the shucked corn cobs to the boiling water.
- Return water to boil, then remove from heat and cover.
- Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes, until corn is tender.
- Remove from water to avoid over cooking.
How to cook corn on the cob in the instant pot:
- Add one cup of cold water to the instant pot.
- Place the trivet in the bottom of the instant pot, add four corn cobs, husks and silk removed.
- Close lid and cook on high pressure for 2 minutes.
- Use quick release.
How to grill corn on the cob:
- Mix together softened butter, salt and pepper until fully combined.
- Carefully peel back husk, leaving it attached at the base. Remove the silk. Rub the butter/salt and pepper mixture evenly over the kernels.Fold the husk back up over the ear to cover the kernels.
- Grill corn over the hot side of the grill, turning frequently, for about 25 minutes or until done. For less char, grill over cooler side of the grill for about 40 minutes, or until done.
How to choose the best corn on the cob
Freshness is key when choosing corn on the cob. The fresher it is, the better it will taste! Here are some ways to determine that an ear of corn is fresh and delicious!
- Feel the corn. you should feel the kernels through the husk, pay special attention to the top, where there are often missing kernels, which you want to avoid.
- Look at the husk. It should be green, not yellow or dried out.
- The silk sticking out of the top should be brown and sticky, not black and dry.
- If you can, slightly peel back the husk at the very top to peek at the kernels. They should be plump and tightly packed together, and go all the way to the tip. I do this last after the other steps, so that I don’t end up opening 20 ears of corn at the grocery store!
- 3 TBSP fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the corn, allow to return to boil. Remove from heat, cover, allow to sit for 10-15 minutes, until cooked. Remove from hot water and allow to cool.
Once cool enough to handle, use a knife to cut the corn kernels off of the cob.
In a large bowl, add the corn kernels, bell pepper, shallot, and basil. Stir to combine, then gently stir in the avocado.
In a mason jar, add the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Shake until completely mixed. Pour over salad. Stir to fully coat everything with the dressing. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if desired. Can be served right away or made a day ahead of time. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve.