Summer is finally here and for us, that means a lot of time spent at the lake where we dine al fresco on the pier with friends. My normal contribution to the meal is a composed salad of some sort, be it pasta salad, potato salad (check out Bacon Parmesan Potato Salad in the blog archives, redneck caviar (Hoppin’ John Salad in the archives) or homemade salsa. I haven’t made corn and zucchini salad in a couple of summers but now that fresh corn is cheap and plentiful, it will be on a future menu at the lake.
This recipe can be made with raw corn, like many corn salad recipes are, but I like the corn a little more tender and a little less starchy. That’s why I blanch the corn. Canned corn is over-cooked, and while it will work if you need a quick salad for a last minute party, it won’t be as fresh tasting. You can also used grilled corn for a smokier flavored salad (perfect with BBQ), and you can change the whole flavor profile from southwestern to Italian simply by using fresh chopped basil instead of fresh chopped cilantro!
- 5 ears of fresh corn, shucked
- 2 cups zucchini chopped into a small dice or quartered lengthwise and then sliced thin
- 1/2 tsp sea salt or Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
- 2 tbsp cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (for southwestern style) or chopped basil leaves (for Italian style)
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- 1/4 tsp minced garlic (or 1 clove)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil on the stovetop and cook the corn for 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain and then immerse the corn into ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Once the corn has cooled enough to handle, cut the kernels from the cob into a large bowl.
Add to the corn, the remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. The longer it marinates in the refrigerator, the better it will taste, so you can make it an hour before eating, or make it the day before.