~ Smoky-sweet grilled summer corn is balanced by tangy lime juice and a pleasant, tingling heat from cayenne pepper. No added fat and so easy to make ahead! ~
This Recipe Is: • Ready in 30 Minutes or Less • Make Ahead • Vegan (and Vegetarian) • Gluten Free •
The kids are back in school, the calendar says September, and most people are shifting gears for fall – apple picking, football, mums …
It’s all good stuff, but I’m a summer girl at heart. And I’m here to tell you that, at least in my little corner of the world, it’s still solidly, 100% summer. (Yay!)
You might wonder how I can be so sure about this. Well, it’s the corn. (Oh – and also the fact that we’ve been in the 80°s here in Ohio nearly every day for over two weeks, but that’s entirely beside the point!)
No – it’s really because of the corn. As long as there’s sweet corn, there’s still a little part of summer left, and I try to hold onto that as long as I can!
Sweet corn is still gloriously abundant: nestled right next to homegrown tomatoes and Volkswagen-sized zucchini at the farmers’ markets. It’s even cascading in heaping piles at my grocery store, too – locally grown and delivered daily from a farm less than 20 minutes away. Excellent!
So we’re gonna celebrate summer with two of the very best things the season has to offer – fabulous sweet corn, and a grill! This salad is so easy, that’s practically all you’ll need to make it, anyway!
My recipe is adapted from a post by Denise over at We Like to Cook! that I found earlier this summer on a Katherine Martinelli blog hop. The flavor combination is insanely good, and her method is really fun: just rub each ear of grilled corn with a lime wedge, then roll it in salt and spice. My whole family loves it!
I have to admit, though, that as much as I absolutely adore corn on the cob, I don’t eat it in front of anyone but my very nearest and dearest. Even if I somehow manage to avoid smearing little bits of corn and flecks of salt all over my face, I’m still left with the uncomfortable feeling that I oughta go floss. Oh, come on now – I know I’m not the only one who feels this way!
Even worse, though, both my kids are headed for the joys of orthodontics soon. It’s a universal fact that corn on the cob is not the friend of anyone with braces.
Oh, my dear corn on the cob – what are we to do?
No worries! This recipe is my solution!
The smoky sweetness of grilled corn is balanced by bright, refreshing lime juice. And there’s just enough cayenne to give you a warm, tingly little kick (although you can absolutely adjust the spiciness to taste). It’s a perfect summer side dish, even if you’re wearing braces or don’t want the neighborhood cookout to be highlighted by your embarrassing corn-in-the-teeth dilemma!
Hurray, sweet corn! Long live summer!
P.S. If you love summer sweet corn as much as I do, then just this one recipe won’t be enough. Be sure to check out our No-Cook Fresh Corn, Tomato and Avocado Salad, too!
- 6-8 ears of fresh sweet corn (to yield 5 cups of kernels)
- 5 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Clean your grill if needed. Oil the grates (preferably using a canola-soaked, wadded paper towel).
- Preheat grill on medium to medium-high.
- Meanwhile, husk your corn. (See note.)
- Lay your corn on the grill and close the lid, but turn the ears frequently so that they develop lots of caramelized grill marks without getting burned or charred. This will take about 5-10 minutes.
- Remove the corn from the grill and allow it to cool until you can safely handle it. (You can also grill the corn several hours in advance or a day ahead, if needed, and store in the refrigerator once cooled.)
- Slice the kernels off the cob and put 5 cups of kernels in a big serving bowl. (If your cobs yield more than 5 cups, you can adjust the other ingredients slightly if you'd like, or reserve the extra kernels for another use.) Add the lime juice, salt and cayenne pepper and stir to combine.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving. You can prepare this a day in advance, but the flavors won’t be quite as clear and pronounced on the second day. The lime juice tends to meld with the corn for a more homogenous flavor. Still good, but different than if you eat it right away.
Isn’t it handy how so many grocery stores now conveniently offer trash cans right next to the sweet corn, so you can do the messy husking at the store instead of in your kitchen? Well, trust me – unless you’re planning to use the corn within a few hours, don’t be lured in. The delicious natural sugars in sweet corn begin to turn to starch as soon as the corn is picked. That’s why, for the very best flavor, you want to use only the freshest corn. Those messy husks help to keep the corn fresh and keep it from drying out, so leaving corn in the husk until the last minute will also improve its flavor and texture.