Candy-sweet, fresh summer corn. Bright, perfectly ripe tomatoes. Mmmmm … and buttery, melt-in-your-mouth avocados.
So simple, yet bursting with so much flavor.
Kinda like poetry for your mouth. (But good poetry – not some of that weird stuff I had to read in high school.)
Sweet corn lovers (and I think that includes pretty much any person with tastebuds) can be divided into two groups. Those who know that one of the very best ways to eat sweet corn is right out of the husk, totally fresh and uncooked … and those who had no idea you could eat it that way. If you fall into the first group, then you can already visualize how delicious this salad is. If you are in the second group, well, you won’t be for long.
Added bonus: skipping the whole cooking step makes this extra quick and easy. You know, this is National Simplify Your Life Week. No cooking? That’s totally a way to simplify your life! We’re here for you.
To be honest, this isn’t exactly the fresh corn salad I originally set out to create. But as I imagined the flavors I wanted, it just evolved so perfectly. I realized I didn’t need to make it more complicated to be more delicious. The vibrant flavors of summer shine beautifully, effortlessly.
All you have to do is slice the kernels from three ears of fresh sweet corn, then add quartered grape or cherry tomatoes and diced avocado. A dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper is truly all this needs.
You can serve it immediately, or let it sit for up to an hour or two (although it’s not quite as good after it’s been refrigerated overnight). If you let it sit just a little, something magical happens. The avocado ever-so-slightly begins to melt into the dressing. You still have chunks of avocado in the salad, but you also have a bafflingly creamy dressing. I’ve had a hard time convincing guests that there really isn’t anything in the dressing but olive oil, lemon and seasoning. They’re convinced it’s more complicated. It’s magic. Or poetry.
My only warning: don’t bother making this with sub-par ingredients. Flavorless winter tomatoes or starchy corn just won’t get you where you want to go. This is too simple to mask bad ingredients, so use the very best you can find. You’ll be well rewarded.
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I remember standing with my grandmother in her lush organic garden (way back before organic was hip), in the middle of her sprawling 100-acre farm, nestled next to her century-old brick farmhouse. We ate veggies right off the plants, basking in the summer sunshine. Mmmmmm … sugar snap peas. Oh, and the sweet corn! Besides what I ate standing in her garden, I was legendary as the tiny kid who could eat six ears or more at dinner. One of my earliest food memories. … What’s yours?
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- Kernels cut from 3 ears of fresh sweet corn (to equal about 2 – 2½ cups)
- 1 pint of grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered (to equal about 1¼ cups)
- 1 avocado, cut into chunks
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine corn, tomatoes and avocado.
- In a small bowl, combine olive oil, salt, lemon juice and black pepper. Whisk well to combine. Pour dressing over corn mixture and stir gently.
- Taste for seasoning. If the flavors aren’t quite vibrant, add just a tiny bit more salt and taste again. With this salad, there is a specific point at which the seasoning is just right and the taste absolutely pops. I have to adjust the salt just slightly every time I make it.
- Let sit until serving.