Makes: 4 servings
Time: 30 minutes
Here you have three choices for preparing the corn: If it’s truly fresh and really good, leave it raw; just shave the kernels from the ears and toss them with the rest of the ingredients.
That’s not usually the case, though, and almost as good is to roast the kernels from good corn in a skillet with a little oil. Or use the kernels from already steamed corn, which—if the corn was good in the first place—is an excellent way to take care of the leftovers. Recipe from How to Cook Everything.
2 tablespoons corn oil
4 to 6 ears corn, stripped of their kernels (2 to 3 cups)
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
1 teaspoon mild chile powder, like ancho
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium tomato, peeled if you like, seeded, and chopped
1 medium ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, and chopped
Juice of 2 limes, or more to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, more or less
1. Put the oil in a large skillet (cast iron is good here but anything will do) and turn the heat to high. When the oil is very hot but not yet smoking, toss in the corn. Let it sit for a minute or so, then stir or shake the pan; brown the corn a bit, 5 minutes or less, then turn off the heat and stir in the onion, pepper, chile powder, salt, and pepper.
2. Cool for a few minutes, then toss with the remaining ingredients. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.
Corn Salad with Arugula. Omit the chile powder and cilantro and substitute 3 cups torn arugula leaves for the avocado and 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar for the lime juice.
Corn Salad with Tarragon. Omit the chile powder and avocado and substitute 2 tablespoons rice vinegar for the lime juice and 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon leaves for the cilantro.
Corn Salad with Feta and Mint. Omit the chile powder and lime juice and substitute 1 cup crumbled feta cheese for the avocado and mint for the cilantro. Add a sprinkle of any vinaigrette.