Corn Tomato Basil Salad

Corn, Tomato & Basil Salad. Photo © Molly Watson
    15 mins
Ratings

Use only the freshest, sweetest corn for this recipe. The kind that’s so tender and sweet you can eat it raw, since that's exactly what happens here! Yes, you can eat corn raw, and this salad takes full advantage of its ultra-sweetness by pairing it with bright, acidic tomatoes. This salad is wonderful with pretty much any grilled meal, or as part of a no-cook summer dinner.

Note: If you're grilling anyway, you might enjoy this spicy grilled corn salad instead!

What You'll Need

  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 shallot (or 1/4 small red onion)
  • 3 ears sweet corn
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 2 sprigs basil

How to Make It

  1. In a salad bowl or other vessel large enough for the salad, mix the oil, vinegar, and salt.
  2. Peel and mince the shallot. Add it to the dressing and stir to combine. 
  3. Husk the corn and use a sharp knife to cut off the kernels (you can do this into a separate bowl and then add to the dressing, or cut them directly into the bowl with the dressing). As always when cutting corn kernels from the cob, be careful not to cut too deep: If you have a sharp knife and meet any resistance at all, you're cutting too deep and may end up with tough, woody knobs at the end of the kernels. 
  1. Core, seed, and chop tomatoes: Use a sharp knife to cut out the stem end and core underneath, cut the tomatoes in half along the equator, squeeze out and discard the seeds and extra juice, and chop. Add to the bowl with the corn.
  2. Toss corn and tomatoes with dressing.
  3. Cut basil into thin strips (chiffonade).
  4. Sprinkle the salad with the ribbons of basil and serve. (Serve as-is, all on its own, or spoon onto a pile of arugula; I've also been known to serve it spooned into leaves of butter lettuce, with the butter lettuce leaves acting as a small bowl or cup to hold the salad.)

Additions/Variations

While this trio screams summer already, feel free to play with it (and its super simple dressing) and add more summer flavors or a bit of richness with these ideas:

  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped 
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 small fennel bulb, finely chopped
  • 1 sweet red or orange bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 cup sweet green peas (blanched, if you like, but raw is good too!)
  • Use mint instead of basil
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped feta, queso fresco or mozzarella