It was a gorgeous morning at the winery yesterday where I was preparing lunch for 20 people. I decided that one of the salads that I would make to go with my achiote pulled pork would be this charred corn salad recipe with red onions, jalapeños, and herbs. It was warm outside and the sun was shining! The day definitely called for corn and jalapeños. A fun and healthy salad recipe was born!
I just can’t stop talking about how lucky I feel to be able to wake up in the morning, drive up a mountain past trees and vineyards, and then spend the first part of the day in a beautiful kitchen looking out over miles of breathtaking views. The weather is just starting to cool down, and you can smell fall coming. By the afternoon, the sun is blazing, but there’s this moment in the morning where you can feel a little chill creep through the air. It’s just magic!
This recipe for a late summer salad is really simple, there are just a few steps to it, and the results are great! Keep in mind, I was making this as a a part of a lunch for 20; you might want to scale back the recipe! Also, if you’re making this corn salad recipe for a reasonable number or people, feel free to leave the corn on the cob, char it whole, let it cool, and then cut the kernels off the cob. It’s another simple way to do this!
Charred Corn Salad Recipe
- 4# fresh corn kernels
- ½ red onion, sliced thinly
- 4 ea jalapeños (I used both red and green), thinly sliced
- 2 tsp salt (more to taste)
- freshly cracked black pepper
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 bunch parsley, minced
- 2 sprigs of mint, minced
- ½ bunch scallions, sliced
- Place the red onion into a bowl and toss with the salt and lime juice. Set aside for 10 or more minutes. The salt and acid will cook the red onion, and it will become very soft and pliable.
- Bring 2-3 qt. salted water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath (just ice and cold water in a bowl.) Add jalapeños to the boiling water and blanch and refresh them. Basically, when the water comes back up to a boil, drain the jalapeños and put them in the ice water right away. Don't breathe in the steam!!! It's spicy! You can totally use freshly sliced jalapeños and skip this step, but I have found that most people appreciate the spiciness being dialed back a bit, and this helps that out nicely.
- When the jalapeños are cool, drain them and add them to the onions. Mix together with the maple syrup, the cider vinegar, the olive oil, and some black pepper.
- Get a cast iron pan (or whatever sauté pan you have access to) very hot and almost smoking. Add enough corn to cover the bottom of the pan in one layer. You are trying to char the kernels, so it's easier if you don't use oil and you don't move them around a lot. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the corn and wait for 1-2 minutes to stir them. They will start to jump around like popcorn! Give them a stir, wait 1-2 minutes more, and then add them to your onion mixture. They don't need to all be black, just a fair number of them need a good dose of color. Keep going with the rest of the corn!
- Once the corn is done and you've got everything well mixed together, add your herbs, taste your charred corn salad for seasoning, and enjoy!
If you’re looking for more healthy salads, you might want to check out:
this light and healthy feel-good citrus and avocado salad,
or maybe you’re in the mood for roasted beets with arugula and herb “pesto!”