Every time I look at one of Ina Garten’s cookbooks, I think “Now, why didn’t I name myself something like The Barefoot Contessa?” I really think I could’ve pulled it off!
Ina has some fun recipes, and one of these is her Fresh Corn Salad, a fantastic way to take advantage of the amazing fresh flavor of sweet corn while it’s in season.
A big plus for this recipe is that it can be made ahead of time. You can put it all together and let it chill in the fridge until you’re ready to serve the rest of your meal. Plus, it is neater/easier to serve and eat than corn on the cob. A bowl of fresh corn goodness is much more civilized for a group gathering, don’t you think?
How to make Ina Garten’s Corn Salad
The preparation is pretty straightforward. First, cook the corn. Boil it for only 3 minutes. All this does is to reduce the starchiness of the corn, and just barely cook the kernels. “Wake ‘em up” is the phrase I’ve seen on bags of frozen veggies.
After 3 minutes, immerse the cobs in ice water to stop the cooking process. Once cool, cut the kernels from the cobs. Sometimes this can be a messy project. To contain the scatter of corn, lay the cobs lengthwise and carefully cut the kernels. A kitchen towel underneath also helps contain those runaway kernels.
Once the corn is in the bowl, simply add some onion and a dressing made of apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper. The original recipe specifies ½ teaspoon of both salt and pepper, but I tend to add without measuring and then adjust to taste when serving.
The final ingredient is fresh basil. This is where I strayed the most from the original recipe, which specifies ½ cup of leaves. To me, this was too much. The basil can sometimes overwhelm the otherwise simple flavors of this dish. Therefore, I recommend about 5-6 large fresh basil leaves, julienned. Add these right before serving if you have mixed the salad ahead of time. The basil provides a brightness to the salad while still allowing the fresh corn taste to shine.
You’ll want to try this Corn Salad with fresh corn for sure!
Fresh Corn Salad
- 5 ears of corn husks removed
- ½ cup diced red onion
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil extra-virgin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4-5 large fresh basil leaves julienned
- Bring a large pan of salted water to boil, add the ears of corn and cook for 3 minutes.
- Remove and immerse in ice water to stop the cooking process.
- Once cool, cut the kernels from each ear and place in a medium bowl.
- Mix vinegar and oil with some salt and pepper, then pour over the corn and toss to combine.
- Add onions and stir.
- Just before serving, add the basil and taste to adjust seasoning. Can be served cold or at room temperature.
Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.
FAQ and serving suggestions
If you LOVE basil then, yes, by all means add more. Up to ½ cup will work. I do recommend adding it RIGHT before serving as that amount can definitely overpower the taste of the corn.
Red onion works great in this salad because of its mild taste and the pop of color it provides. If you don’t have a red onion, a bunch of scallions (green onions) is a good substitute.