1. FRESH CORN, TOMATO, AVOCADO AND BASIL SALAD
2-3 ears of fresh corn
2 cups cherry tomatoes (or 2 cups fresh tomatoes, diced)
1 ripe avocado
1/2 cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 cup (75g) loosely packed chopped fresh basil (reserve any small leaves for garnish)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1-2 small shallots, peeled and minced (1-2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
6 tablespoons (90ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1. Shuck the corn and remove it from the cob.
2. Remove any stems and slice the cherry tomatoes in half.
3. Peel the avocado, remove the pit, and dice the flesh. Cut the cucumber into similar sized cubes.
4. Put the corn kernels, tomatoes, avocado, cucumber, and basil into a serving bowl and season with freshly ground black pepper.
5. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, shallots, salt, and olive oil. Pour the vinaigrette dressing over the salad and gently mix together. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
Serving and storage: The dressed salad can be served right away or in a few hours. (It can be stored in the refrigerator or at room temperature, but should be served room temperature.) It’s best the same day it’s made.
Update: A few people have inquired whether the corn is cooked or not, and it isn’t in this salad. Fresh, sweet corn is excellent raw. However if you do want to use cooked corn, I suggest grilling it, shucked and lightly oiled first, cooking it over a fire for 10-15 minutes, turning it infrequently to give it a bit of char so it has some texture, as well as additional flavor.
2. FRESH CORN TEX-MEX DIP
4 cups fresh roasted corn (from approximately 5 corn cobs)
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 to 3 fresh jalapeños (seeds and membranes removed), finely minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (more or less, to taste)
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a large bowl, combine corn, sour cream, mayonnaise, cheese, jalapeños, cilantro, cumin, garlic salt, and black pepper. Stir until well mixed. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (preferably 8 hours to overnight) to allow flavors to blend. Serve with tortilla chips or corn chip scoops.
You may use frozen (thawed) corn or canned corn (regular or Mexicorn) in place of the fresh roasted corn.
For a lighter variation, you may substitute Greek yogurt for up to half of the mayo/sour cream combo.
I prefer using freshly grated cheese, but your favorite bagged cheese will work fine.
The flavors in the dip will intensify and blend after it's been allowed to chill for awhile. It won't taste quite as good if you serve it right away.
3. ZUCCHINI AND FRESH CORN SALAD WITH LEMON-BASIL VINAIGRETTE
1 small or medium zucchini
1 small or medium yellow squash
1 ear of corn, shucked and cleaned, with the kernels cut off the cob
1 ounce goat cheese
Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette (recipe below)
Red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
A few leaves of fresh torn basil
*optional: A few tablespoons of toasted pine nuts
For the Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette
½ cup good olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove minced fresh garlic
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
FOR THE SALAD:
With a wide vegetable peeler, peel the zucchini and squash lengthwise into long ribbons (discarding the middle — you'll know when you get to it, because the squash will get too thin and watery.) Place the ribbons in a good sized bowl or plate, alternating so you can see equal amounts of green and yellow. Add the corn kernels and about 2 tablespoons of vinaigrette. Toss. Add salt, freshly ground pepper and chili flakes to taste. Add the goat cheese and garnish with fresh torn basil.
FOR THE LEMON-BASIL VINAIGRETTE
Add all of the ingredients to a small jar with a lid and shake well. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.
Note: You'll have vinaigrette left over to use on other salads, or make this one again!
4. MEXICAN SWEET CORN SALAD
½ cup (80 g) plain nonfat yogurt*
1 Tbsp (15 mL) lime juice
1 tsp (5 mL) honey
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp cumin
Splash of oil
4 ears of corn (about 3 cups, 285 g of kernels), shucked and kernels removed
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp (30 mL) lime juice
¼ tsp salt
1 cup (200 g) canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
½ cup (35 g) chopped red onion
½ cup packed fresh cilantro, chopped
½ cup (88 g) cotija or feta cheese, crumbled
Mix all dressing ingredients and set aside.
Heat oil over medium/high heat in a large saute pan then add garlic and corn. Cook about 15 minutes, flipping frequently, until corn begins to char a bit. Gently toss with lime juice and salt.**
In a large bowl, combine corn mix, black beans, pepper, onion, cilantro, and cheese. Drizzle sauce over and serve either warm or cold. Perfect over tacos, as a chip dip, or by itself!
*If using Greek yogurt, add a dash of milk to thin it out.
**Alternatively, cook the ears of corn on the grill, then remove kernels and mix into garlic, lime juice, and salt.