Summer is my favorite time at the farmers market. It’s the season of fresh berries and stone fruit (peaches, nectarines, plums, pluots). Lately though, something else has been catching my eye – the humble corn. I didn’t think much of corn growing up, but I have to credit Mr. A for helping me appreciate this plant. His enthusiasm and delight at spotting freshly cut farmers market corn is absolutely infectious.
Freshly-picked corn makes a difference! Corn starts converting its sugar into starch once it’s picked. Look at the base of the stalk where it was cut. Recently cut stalks will have a visibly damp base. The husk should also be a bright green. Most store corn will have a dried out base, so the farmers market is your best bet. For max sweetness, eat corn the same day it’s cut.
This recipe for corn salad is the perfect medium to enhance the intense sweetness of the corn with acidity of the tomato and vinegar. It just happens that peak tomato season coincides with peak corn season – late summer. I added parsley and mint for a bright green accent to this harmonious combination. You can substitute with cilantro and fresh lime juice for a different take. This is a refreshing side for a summer picnic, and leftovers taste even better the next day.
Sweet Corn Salad with Tomato, Parsley, and Mint
- 3-4 fresh ears of corn
- 2 large heirloom tomatoes, diced (2 cups)
- 1/2 cup diced red onion (1/2 medium onion)
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Prepare the corn using your preferred method. I like to grill them: Heat the grill to medium-high heat. Remove the first couple layers of husks from the corn, and leave the rest on. Grill, turning occasionally, until the husk is charred on outside and corn is heated through, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from grill. Let cool enough to handle, then cut kernels from cobs. Alternatively, you can grill the corn with the husk off for a nice charred flavor, about 10 minutes.
- While the corn cools, chop the tomatoes, red onions, parsley, and mint. Keep the excess tomato juice for the dressing. Option: tone down the bite from the red onion by soaking in water for 10 minutes.
- Toss tomato and onion in a large bowl with the corn kernels.
- For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and tomato juice from the diced tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add dressing to the corn salad and toss. Add in the parsley and mint and toss again. Season with more salt and pepper if needed. Serve and enjoy!
- Salad keeps well in the fridge for a few days. The flavors meld together and get better the longer it sits.