farmers’ market monday: grilled corn salad.

So my Farmer’s Market Monday post comes a little late this Monday. It’s Memorial Day here in The States and I couldn’t help it. I won’t lie and say I was so busy going to parties and cooking up a storm and what have you…no; we had too much fun stuff to do. I did some kitchen necessity (and not-so-essentials) shopping, hit the thrift stores, tried to build a little summer wardrobe for my annual 3 week vacation – more about that in future posts, because I’m taking all of you along with me this year. we celebrated my sister’s birthday with a crazy amazing cake, and I taught her how to make Jennie at The Messy Baker’s maple-nut granola and my favorite basil-walnut pesto recipe (which I really should post); two good things to have under your belt year-round, in my opinion. So yes, we did a wee bit of cooking, but mostly, we had fun. hopefully you don’t notice the lateness of this post too much; you should be drinking lemonade poolside anyway. 

This is my offering this week for farmer’s market monday: a grilled corn salad. rather appropriate, as mr. table happily spent the past two days slaving over a grill and enjoying every hot minute of it. It’s all fruit and veggies I gathered at a great farmer’s market not 10 minutes away from me that I fell in love with the minute I walked into the big red barn it is housed in. It’s wonderful, and I plan to return next week for their official “grand opening” for the season. It’s called Rick’s Roadside Market, and here’s a few pictures, with more to come:

This salad tastes through and through like it was meant for hot weather and picnics. You could pair it with anything: I think it would be just as nice with hot dogs and hamburgers as it would be with ribs or steak. it’s not heavy, and provides a nice hot/cold balance between cold summer sides like potato salad or cole slaw. It takes no time to put together; just grill the corn (or have, ahem, someone who knows about grilling do it for you), chop up the rest of the ingredients, and stir together. It’s a warm salad rather than a hot one, so it holds up well outside or in.

I hope all of you had a lovely holiday weekend, and that your weather was nice enough for you to enjoy sometime outside without it melting you into a puddle. It was fair to slightly melty here, but we managed to get outside for evening picnics, garden-tending, and a walk here and there.

Adapted from a Bobby Flay recipe on Rather, this started out as the basic recipe and grew in vegetables/toppings. the more, the merrier. You can find the original recipe here.

Grilled Corn Salad

  • 6-8 ears sweet corn (white, yellow, or bicolor), silk removed, husks on, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes
  • 2-3 scallions, greens only, thinly sliced
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 avocados, halved and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 limes, juiced and 1 zested
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/3 cup cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup creme fraiche, plus more for serving
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Heat grill to high. Grill corn in husks until charred on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly (you wouldn’t believe how hot that corn can get, especially the cob part). Once cool enough to handle, take a sharp knife and cut kernels off of the cob and place in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, add the zest and juice from the limes, chili powder, and creme fraiche, stirring until combined and smooth. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to put salad together.

When you’re ready to assemble, heat a large skillet over medium-low heat.

Add the tomatoes and scallions to the corn and stir to evenly distribute ingredients. Add the creme fraiche mixture and stir until everything is evenly coated. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

Pour mixture into warm skillet and add the cotija cheese, heating over low to medium-low heat until warmed through. Depending on how long you wait from grill to table, this could take maybe 3 minutes up until maybe 6-8 minutes if you’re starting at room temperature. Stirring frequently, turn over the mixture in the skillet so it is evenly heated through. Remember: you don’t want this to be hot, just warmed.

Once heated, pour into a large serving bowl and top with remaining cotija cheese (if you want) and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro. Season again with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper if needed, to taste.

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  • Reply Willow May 29, 2012 at 6:40 am

    Mmm, I fell head-over-heels for corn last year, and can’t wait for my little road-side stand to open up and sell it again. This might just be on my list of must-make corn dishes! 🙂

    • Reply shannon May 30, 2012 at 8:46 am

      don’t you just love roadside stands? they seem to have just the absolute best things. this is early corn for us, and it was delicious, but it’s nothing compared to what it’ll be like in a few weeks. i’ll for sure be making this again. and again. 🙂

  • Reply movita beaucoup May 29, 2012 at 6:49 am

    Oooooh! I’m picturing 2.0 at the bbq – grilling up some corn – and then stuffing our faces with this wee ditty. I’m loving the cilantro and lime in there. 2.0 thinks he doesn’t like cilantro. But I put it in stuff all the time and he hasn’t noticed yet. (Actually, I’m not sure if he knows what cilantro IS…)

    • Reply shannon May 30, 2012 at 8:30 am

      if 2.0 eats things with cilantro and hasn’t noticed, then he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I have the same problem from time to time with Mr. Table — the “oh, but i don’t like that. what? no, i’ve never had it” song and dance. he never notices when i sneak things in either.

      thank goodness we’re there to broaden their culinary horizons without their permission or knowledge, and most likely against their will. i don’t know what they would do without us.

  • Reply Mary Rose May 29, 2012 at 8:30 am

    Oh, yum! Thank goodness for corn! Roasted! And all those good veggies! I need them to balance out my Momofuku binges. 😀

    • Reply shannon May 30, 2012 at 8:28 am

      mary rose, that’s my selfish reason for doing this Farmers Market Monday series: i can’t eat Momofuku Milk Bar things for meals. i mean, technically i could, and i have (whoops) but i should not. 🙂 this makes me make things involving veggies and green things (that aren’t green sprinkles).

  • Reply Jen @ Juanita's Cocina May 29, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Ahhhhh, a girl right after my little Mexican heart. Cilantro AND cotija. You should have just called the creme fraiche, “crema”, and then I would have just adopted you as one of our own.

    Also, I’ve decided the commune should be up by you. Because you have farmer’s markets and all.

    Wait…does it snow there? Because that may change my mind.

    • Reply shannon May 30, 2012 at 8:25 am

      i am dumb: i wasn’t sure if “crema” and “creme fraiche” were the same thing. i should have asked, because you would have totally known that and set me straight. Next time: crema. 🙂 then we’ll work on adoption.

      the snow could cause you some issues: we don’t have like, wisconsin snow? but there’s sometimes snow. as in, sometimes a dusting here and there, and sometimes you can’t get your car out of the driveway. and the farmer’s markets, at least most of them, are not open during the winter snow. sometimes they carry christmas trees, but that’s it.

      so maybe we have a vacation commune? like, 6 months out of the year. 🙂

  • Reply Jennie @themessybakerblog May 29, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Girl, this salad looks super yummy. Hey, better late than never. Sounds like you had an awesome weekend.

    You taught your sister how to make my granola? You are too kind. Thanks for the shout out. I ate all my granola and need to make more.

    • Reply shannon May 30, 2012 at 8:22 am

      thanks, jennie! better late than never is a good point. i was actually afraid it was going to be “never.” 🙂 we had a totally great weekend! i hope you did too.

      my sister and my mom both FLIPPED over your granola, and so did the people at Mr. Table’s work (the recipients of the gift granola). evidently they couldn’t keep their hands out of each others’ gift bags. 🙂 my mom and my sister both went home with the recipe. i need to make more too…they cleared me out!

  • Reply Brianne May 29, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    I just discovered the goodness that is corn+lime+chili powder last summer. Soooo good.

    This takes it to a whole ‘nother level. Yum!

    • Reply shannon May 30, 2012 at 8:18 am

      yay! i’m happy you like it! this salad is one of those ones i make as a side and then end up eating the leftovers as lunch. it’s addictive, especially if you love the whole lime-cilantro-chili thing, and i do. 🙂

  • Reply Kristina June 4, 2012 at 9:07 am

    I love fresh corn salad in the summer! I just made one this weekend 🙂 Yours sounds awesome, definitely trying it out next time! I love the tomatoes, avocado, and cheese in yours, it looks gorgeous!

  • Reply Katherine @ eggton June 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    This looks so tasty. Also, that picture of the corn? Freaking amazing photo.

    • Reply shannon June 12, 2012 at 2:12 pm

      thank you! i really liked that photo too…something about it, but i get dorky about things. i’m happy you like it (but then, you also get dorky about things, Cauli-sheep.) 🙂

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