As the summer sun graces us with its warm embrace, it’s the perfect time to indulge in the vibrant flavors of the season. One dish that captures the essence of summer like no other is the Summer Grilled Corn Salad. This refreshing and vibrant salad combines the smoky goodness of grilled corn with the freshness of seasonal vegetables, all tied together with a zesty dressing. It’s a celebration of summer on a plate, and I’m here to guide you through the process of creating this delectable dish.
Corn, a staple crop in many parts of the world, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. Native Americans were cultivating corn long before the arrival of Europeans, and it played a crucial role in their diets. In the modern context, corn is a symbol of summer and is often enjoyed at picnics, barbecues, and outdoor gatherings. Grilling corn has become a popular method to enhance its natural sweetness and impart a delightful smokiness.
Grilling the Corn:
- Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. If using charcoal, make sure the coals are evenly distributed.
- Place the husked ears of corn directly on the grill grates. Grill for about 10-12 minutes, turning occasionally, until the corn is charred and slightly tender. The goal is to achieve those beautiful grill marks and a smoky flavor.
- Remove the corn from the grill and let it cool slightly. Once it’s cool enough to handle, use a sharp knife to cut the kernels off the cobs. Transfer the grilled corn kernels to the large mixing bowl.
Preparing the Dressing:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the extra-virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, honey, Dijon mustard, dried oregano, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. The dressing should be well emulsified and full of flavor.
Assembling the Salad:
- Add the diced red bell pepper, diced green bell pepper, finely chopped red onion, halved cherry tomatoes, chopped fresh cilantro, and torn basil leaves to the bowl with the grilled corn.
- Drizzle the prepared dressing over the salad ingredients.
- Gently toss the salad to ensure all the ingredients are well coated with the dressing. Season with additional salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- If desired, sprinkle crumbled feta cheese on top of the salad for an extra layer of flavor.
Serve and Enjoy
Your Summer Grilled Corn Salad is now ready to be served. This delightful dish is best enjoyed immediately to savor the flavors at their peak. It’s a fantastic addition to any summer gathering, whether it’s a backyard barbecue, picnic in the park, or a simple family dinner. The combination of smoky grilled corn, crisp vegetables, and zesty dressing is sure to make this salad a seasonal favorite.