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Summer Corn Salad



6 small servings or 4 large servings


For those in search of a hearty summer salad, corn is invited to the party. As someone who alters recipes according to my pantry, Summer Corn Salad works with a variety of ingredients. In fact, throw some protein into the mix and you’ve got a perfect lunch for one or many.

Note: My spouse likes a bit of fire-roasted salsa stirred into the salad. It tastes great, but does have a tendency to turn the concoction a bit pink. He doesn’t care about the color, but I omit if serving guests.

For a one-dish meal, stir in one cup of cooked crab, or diced, high-quality ham and serve on lettuce.

Keeps in fridge for several days.

3-4 very fresh ears of corn, shucked and cut off the cob (about 1½ cups of corn)
½ cup black beans (or chili, soy or garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
½ cup diced green or Vidalia onion
½ cup diced red or orange pepper
1 small jalapeno, diced (if you like a bit of heat)
½ cup diced celery
½ cup sliced black olives – any kind (save one tablespoon for garnish)
½ cup of either Feta cheese or grated Mexican cheese blend
2-3 basil leaves, cut in thin strips
2 Tablespoons of mayonnaise (optional)
Pinch of garlic powder, or to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Splash of hot sauce (Try Red Clay Hot Sauce, from Charleston, SC;
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
Juice of one large lime, plus a light sprinkling of grated zest, or 2-3 Tablespoons of red wine vinegar


Heat a medium sauté pan with one tablespoon of oil and sauté the corn until black marks appear and it begins to sizzle – about five minutes. If you’re not a fan of raw onion, throw it into the pan for the last minute of cooking. Cool.

Drain beans into colander and rinse, shaking off liquid. Gently combine cooled corn, onion, beans, diced pepper, celery, sliced black olives, and jalapeno (if using), into deep bowl. Mix in Feta or grated cheese. (If using grated cheese, reserve a bit for sprinkling over the top).

In another bowl, whisk oil, wine vinegar or lime juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and hot sauce until emulsified. Pour over vegetables and cheese and gently fold together. After all is coated, let rest for a few minutes while cutting the basil.

Mix half of the basil into the salad, reserving the rest for garnish. Mix in mayonnaise, one tablespoon at a time (optional, because some love it and others, not so much).

Serve in shallow bowl, sprinkled with cheese, olives and basil threads. Include lime wedges as garnish, if lime juice is your acid of choice.


Adapted from many versions by Katherine Pettit

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