Corn & Zucchini Salad

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.

 

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Bacon Parmesan Potato Salad

It’s that time of the year again! Bama Football kicks off today and I’ve had several requests for some tailgating recipes, so over the next few weeks, I’ll post some game day ideas.

Back in 2007, The Birmingham News asked for one of my composed salad recipes to feature in a special about July 4th cooking so I wrote down my recipe for Bacon-Parmesan Potato Salad. It’s a great salad to enjoy on game day because it can be made days in advance and held in the frig. Not only do I make it for tailgating on the Quad, it’s also the salad of choice I’m asked to bring when we party on the lake. Give it a shot! It’s a great alternative to traditional potato salad!

  • 3 1/2 pounds russet baking potatoes
  • 1 3oz package fully cooked bacon pieces or 12 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup Ranch salad dressing
  • 1 cup Creamy Caesar salad dressing
  • 1/4 tsp celery salt
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp prepared horseradish
  • 2/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Wash the potatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, wrap in foil and bake at 400F for 1 hour or until potatoes are soft. Let potatoes cool, then refrigerate until chilled. (Potatoes can be baked up to 2 days prior to preparing the salad.)
In a large bowl, combine the garlic, green onions, both salad dressings, celery salt, basil leaves, thyme and horseradish. Dice cooked, un-peeled potatoes and add to the wet ingredients, stirring until fully combined. Add the bacon, reserving 1 tbsp for garnish. Add the Parmesan cheese and mix will. Sprinkle remaining bacon atop the salad and serve.
Makes 10-12 servings!