Summer Corn Salad

This corn salad recipe is bursting with flavors and textures, making it a perfect way to enjoy sweet summer corn. It pairs well with a variety of main courses (everything from crab cakes to zucchini lasagna), and comes together in less than 15 minutes. Additional ingredients include grape tomatoes, red onions, basil, and feta cheese (which can be omitted for a vegan salad). Bring it to your next summer potluck or BBQ!

Summer corn salad recipe in a large bowl, surrounded by fresh corn and basil.

When corn is in season, I love using it to prepare simple salads like this one. Fresh corn is sweet and crisp. Straight from the farm, it can be enjoyed raw, so I try to purchase it from the farmer’s market or my CSA whenever possible. It’s so tasty.

This salad comes together quickly and easily. Since not everyone has access to farm fresh corn, I’ve included basic cooking instructions. I’ve also added notes about how to turn this salad into a main course by adding protein!

Unmixed ingredients for corn tomato salad in a bowl, including red onions, basil, feta, corn and tomatoes.

Recipe Notes

  • This recipe is very flexible. The ingredient list includes options like shallots or red onions, basil or cilantro, sherry or apple cider vinegar, etc. Use what you have. Normally I prefer raw shallots in salads, but I had a red onion and wasn’t about to waste it. I’ve also been on a sherry vinegar kick recently, but I realize that most people don’t stock it in their pantry (you should consider trying it, though. It’s good stuff).
  • The feta can be omitted for a vegan salad, but keep in mind that feta is a salty cheese, so you may need to add a bit more salt at the end.
  • Turn this corn salad into an entree by adding grilled chicken or shrimp!
  • This may be a summer salad, but it can be prepared all year. Frozen corn is always a great option, but try to buy organic when possible for best flavor. I’ve also included instructions below for freezing your own corn.

Side angle of summer corn salad ingredients in a bowl.

How to Shuck Corn

Peel away the thick outer layer of leaves, leaving a single layer of thin leaves around the ear. Peel the tip of those leaves back until you can see the first few rows of corn kernels. Holding the tops of the leaves and tassel, pull down all the way to the bottom in one motion, inverting the husk. Remove and discard the leaves and silks.

How to Remove Corn Silk

After shucking, rinse the corn under cool water while using a soft vegetable brush to remove any excess silk. You can also use a spare soft bristle toothbrush.

How Long Does Corn Last?

Use corn as soon as possible after purchasing, preferably within 3 days. Fresh corn can be kept up to a week, but it will begin losing its flavor and develop more of a starchiness.

Store fresh corn the refrigerator in an open plastic bag until it’s ready for use. It also freezes very well. Remove the kernels from the cob and store them in freezer bags.

Can Corn Salad Be Prepared in Advance?

This salad will keep for several days, but if you’re serving this at a party, I wouldn’t prepare it more than 24 hours in advance at most (same day is best). The longer the ingredients sit in the dressing, the more they lose their texture and the flavors begin to muddle.

Photo of corn salad recipe in a bowl on a wood backdrop, surrounded by fresh corn and a blue napkin.

Looking for More Corn Recipes?

Check out my Mexican Tortilla Casserole, Summer Corn Soup, and Salmon Chowder! I also love this Slow-Cooker Creamed Corn from Barefeet in the Kitchen.

5 from 3 votes
Close up photo of corn salad in a bowl.
Summer Corn Salad
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
3 mins
Total Time
13 mins
 
This fresh summer corn salad is a perfect way to enjoy seasonal produce! Other ingredients include red onion, tomatoes, basil, and feta (which can be omitted for a vegan salad).
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 - 6 servings
Calories: 109 kcal
Ingredients
  • 4 ears of corn, shucked (around 4 cups; see notes)
  • 1/2 cup diced shallot or red onion (1 medium shallot or 1 small onion)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or cilantro
  • Optional: 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled (omit for a vegan salad)
  • 3 tablespoons sherry or apple cider vinegar (fresh lime juice would also work)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
  • Other optional add-ins: diced avocado, grilled shrimp or chicken
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil (do not salt the water). Set a medium or large bowl of ice water nearby. Cook the corn for 3 minutes, then use tongs to transfer the corn to the ice water to halt the cooking process. (Note: if you're using very fresh corn from the farmer's market, you may be able to skip this step use the corn raw! Slice off a few of the kernels and taste them).

  2. Once the corn has cooled, slice the kernels off the cob and place in a large bowl. Add the shallots, tomatoes, basil, and feta.
  3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Drizzle 1/2 to 3/4 of the dressing into the salad, gently tossing the ingredients together. Add the remaining vinaigrette if desired. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed.
  4. Serve at room temperature or chilled. The salad will keep for several days in the refrigerator in an airtight container or covered tightly with plastic film, but it will begin losing its texture and flavor after 48 hours.
Recipe Notes

If you’re using fresh corn, keep in mind that it varies in size; don’t worry about a specific number of cups. Just know that using more or less corn may slightly impact the amount of salt and pepper you need to use, which is why I suggest seasoning to taste.

Suggested Pairings

About Jennifer Farley

Jennifer graduated from the Culinary Arts program at L’Academie de Cuisine in Maryland, and has worked professionally as a line cook, pastry chef, and cooking instructor. Her cookbook, The Gourmet Kitchen, was published in 2016 by Simon & Schuster.

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