Summer Corn Salad

The perfect idea for a summer picnic: sensational corn salad. Put the bounty of the garden to good use in this colorful make-ahead dish. Fresh herbs add pizzazz, and for even more flavor, toss in grilled zucchini, eggplant or mushrooms. Make sure to use good quality extra virgin olive oil. The salad is delicious side to Greek-Style Chicken Kebabs and Barramundi with Preserved Lemons and Chickpeas.

  • 5 ears fresh yellow corn, shucked
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced diagonally
  • 5 green onions, thinly sliced diagonally (about 1 cup)
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh mint
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed hot red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more to taste
  • 3 firm but ripe avocados, pitted and peeled; 2 diced and 1 sliced
  • 1 cup teardrop tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the corn and cook until the yellow color brightens and the corn is crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from the water and set aside to drain and cool. Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels off the cobs, trying to stay as close to the cob as possible. You should have about 5 cups of corn kernels.

Combine the corn kernels, cucumber, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, celery, green onions, red onion, basil and mint in a large bowl.

Do-Ahead Tip: The salad can be prepared up to this point 8 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Add the olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt, seasoned salt, crushed hot pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of the black pepper to the corn mixture. Toss gently to coat. Scatter the diced avocados and 1/2 cup of the tomatoes over the salad and toss again to coat. Season to taste with more kosher salt and black pepper.

Transfer the salad to a serving dish. Garnish with the avocado slices, remaining tomatoes, and parsley. Serve immediately.

Cooks Note: You can substitute Roma tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes or beefsteak tomatoes for the teardrop. If fresh corn is not available, frozen corn can be a good substitute. For extra heat add chopped and seeded jalapeno pepper.

Servings: Makes 12 side-dish servings