Summertime, to me, means family time, outdoor adventures, fresh produce, vacations, water, and lots of cookouts. Summertime also means HEAT since we live in the great state of Tennessee. To quote my late Uncle Chuck, “It’s hotter’n a blister bug in a pepper patch!” Can I get an amen?
Thankfully, eating well during the hot summer months doesn’t have to mean cooking in a hot kitchen.
This corn salad recipe, courtesy of my mother-in-law Mary, is the perfect dish to bring to a cookout or to have as a delicious side since the cooking is minimal. It uses fresh corn, which is so cheap and plentiful right now — always a win-win. Unless you LOVE red onions and use them often, save time and money by purchasing the pre-chopped red onions from the produce aisle. If you can’t find (or don’t want to spend the money on) fresh basil, feel free to leave it out. Like all of my favorite recipes, you can change this recipe in so many different ways and it will still taste amazing!
This is the perfect dish to make the day before taking to a gathering, as the flavors only get better overnight. Use whatever vinegar you have on hand: rice wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, flavored vinegars like tarragon, or even white vinegar; they will all taste good. Feel free to add some feta cheese or even mozzarella balls to tailor this to your menu. I love to add in chunks of avocado and even bacon crumbles, because I like to live my best life, y’all.
I make this during the week to have for quick dinners and leave out the basil for my kiddos because those green tendrils just scream, “DO NOT EAT ANYTHING ON YOUR PLATE! WE HAVE SPOTTED THE GREEN MENACE!” We serve this with grilled chicken or shrimp for a quick and light dinner.
- -5 ears of corn (white, yellow, sweet, or multi-colored all work)
- -1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- -1/2 small red onion (or 1/2 container pre-chopped red onion)
- -1/2 cup chopped cucumber
- -1/2 cup fresh basil, julienned
- -3 TBSP apple cider vinegar
- -3 TBSP olive oil
- -salt and pepper to taste
- -In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the corn for 4 minutes.
- -Drain and put in ice water to stop cooking and to keep the bright yellow color.
- -When the corn is cool, cut the kernels off the cob.
- -Toss all ingredients, except the basil, in a large bowl and mix well.
- -Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.
- -Just before serving, add the fresh basil.
- -Serve cold or at room temperature.
The next time you are in a rush, but need to make a quick side dish or need something to take to a gathering, give this fresh and light salad a try. I won’t even tell if you use frozen corn (just thaw it first), because we’ve all been there!