Four-Ingredient Grilled Corn Salad with Nonfat Chili-Lime Dressing

~ 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! ~

THK Grilled Corn Salad2

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!

THK Grilled Corn Salad3

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!

THK Grilled Corn Salad

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!

THK By Shelley

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With the seasons just about to change, are you longing for those lazy summer days, or do you enjoy the crisp fall weather? I’m missing summer already, but Gretchen can’t wait for fall!

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Grilled Chili-Lime Corn Salad
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Yield: 5 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 6-8 ears of fresh sweet corn (to yield 5 cups of kernels)
  • 5 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Preparation
  1. Clean your grill if needed. Oil the grates (preferably using a canola-soaked, wadded paper towel).
  2. Preheat grill on medium to medium-high.
  3. Meanwhile, husk your corn. (See note.)
  4. 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.
  5. 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.)
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
Notes
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.

 

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Comments

Four-Ingredient Grilled Corn Salad with Nonfat Chili-Lime Dressing — 30 Comments

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  6. I made this tonight to take to a cookout and it was a hit!! People were calling it corn ceviche! I loved how you first get the lime flavor then the kick of the pepper sets it. Will def be making again!

    • Awww, Melissa! Your comment totally made my night! I’m just thrilled that the salad was such a hit at the cookout, and I so appreciate that you took the time to leave us a comment – it really means so much! Oh – and Corn Ceviche is a perfect name – I just love that!!! Thanks again! Hope you have an awesome weekend! ~Shelley

  7. You make it sound like you’ve got corn growing all over the place! I’m so jealous! If I wanted corn over here, it’d be my whole week’s pocket allowance (you know, if I still had any) and I still wouldn’t have enough for the rest of the family!

    • It sounds like you guys really need a lot more corn over there in the Netherlands! Here in Ohio … yeah … we really do have A LOT of corn! Actually, when most non-Ohioans envision Ohio, they probably imagine one massive corn field. That’s really not quite accurate, but close enough to the truth to keep us happily heaped in delicious corn all summer long and well into the fall! ~G&S

      • I’ve thought about this for a long time now, and I still can’t think of any typical produce we Dutch ought to be proud of. Cheese maybe? Nah. One day it’ll dawn on me and then I’ll explain in DETAIL why you ought to be jealous instead…

        Yes. In the meanwhile I’ll be sticking to canned corn.

  8. It is super cold here right now, but I’m also trying to hold onto summer for as long as I can (aka I’ve got my mouth full of frozen yogurt ;-)). I love how summery corn is. This recipe looks so easy yet super tasty, I have to try it soon! x

    • Hi, Sadie! So glad you stopped by! And if you have oodles of sweet corn (ummmm, yeah, Iowa – I’ll bet you do!) then you’ve come to the right place! I adore sweet corn … on the cob, off the cob, grilled, fresh-out-of-the-husk … any way you can imagine! So, what’s your favorite way to prepare it – I’d love to know?! ~Shelley

  9. This is one thing I should do more often…grilled corn. Your recipe sounds so delicious. Ugh, braces! My daughter has them and I feel so bad for her that she can’t eat certain foods. She loves corn on the cob and popcorn, both no-no’s with braces. I haven’t figured out the popcorn, but the corn I slice off the cob so she can still enjoy. I know she likes the special treatment :D

    • Hmmmmm … the popcorn conundrum … we should work on that, right?!?! If we could solve that problem for your daughter she would REALLY feel like she was getting the special treatment! Ah, well – just make her this grilled corn salad and tell her the recipe is sent all the way from Ohio with a sympathetic hug! :D Those gorgeous, straight teeth will be worth it! ~Shelley

  10. I know- everyone is making fall recipes already and it’s not time yet!
    We need to live in the moment and this corn salad looks like the purrfect way to do that. Grilled corn is the best and I love how simply delicious it looks in this salad. I like your style! :)

    • Hi, Sarah! Let’s agree not to make pumpkin pie, applesauce or a big kettle of chili until at least next week! That will be soon enough for fall recipes, no?!?! Totally love your blog, too! :D Thanks for stopping by! ~ Shelley

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