Grilled Corn Salad Recipe

Grilled Corn Salad Recipe

One of Summer's true loves is corn. So, as the Summer comes to a close, we say thanks for the memories with this Grilled Corn Salad. Thank you for your sweetness, savory bites, and the abundance we were able to save in our freezers for our fall soups and pasta. See you next year, corn; yes, I am talking to you, corn, because you have ears. 
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 people


  • 1 Grill
  • 1 pair of grill tongs
  • 2 large and small bowl


  • 4 sweet corn grilled cut-off cobs
  • 1 poblano pepper grilled and medium diced
  • 1 red pepper grilled and medium diced
  • 1 15 ounce black beans canned, drained, and rinsed
  • 2 large avocados medium diced
  • 1/3 cup scallions thinly sliced on a bias
  • 1/3 cup  cilantro chopped
  • 1 serrano chili pepper, small diced
  • 10 ounces cotija cheese use as much as you like
  • salt kosher to taste
  • pepper black to taste

How to Make Dressing

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice  freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 shallot  minced, about 1 Tablespoon
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander  whole ground
  • 1/4  teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
  • 1/8  teaspoon  cumin
  • 1/8  teaspoon New Mexican chili powder


How to Grill Corn

  • Preheat the grill for 10 minutes on medium heat.
  • Soak corn for 10-12 minutes in cold water before grilling to help keep the corn husks from catching fire. Keep a water bottle sprayer nearby, so you're prepared if the corn husk does dry out and catches fire. 
  • Place corn on a preheated grill for 10 minutes on medium heat in the husk.
  • Turn the corn as it browns on each side. After the corn has been browned, remove it from the grill and place it on a sheet pan. Peel back the husk using grill tongs. Place corn back on the grill to get a light golden brown color. 
  • You will know when the corn is nearly done when the husks have turned brown. You can pierce a kernel with the tip of a knife, and if it easily inserts, the corn is done.
  • Let corn cool for 10 minutes before peeling the remaining corn husk.

How to Cut Corn From the Cob? 

  • The easiest way to cut corn from the cob is using a sharp French knife. However, using a dull knife will force you to apply pressure to the corn cob and can result in an inevitable accident. 
  • There are several ways you can cut corn from the cob to easily scoop the corn kernels into a bowl.

Using a Sheet Pan: 

  • Use a large-sided sheet tray to collect the kernels. One hand holds the widest part of the corn on the sheet tray. Cut as close to the core of the cob as possible, so the kernels remain whole. Continue to rotate the corn and cut corn from the cob. 

Using a Cutting Board:  

  • Stand the widest part of the corn on the cutting board with one hand. Cut as close to the core of the cob as possible, so the kernels remain whole. Continue to rotate the corn and cut corn from the cob.

Using a Bowl: 

  • Stand the widest part of corn in the center of a large bowl. Start cutting at the top of the corn to the bottom, rotating the corn; the kernels will fall right into the bowl. You can also invert a small bowl inside of the large bowl. Wet a paper towel and lay that on top of the small bowl; this will help prevent the corn from slipping. Cut the corn on top of the smaller bowl, and the corn will fall into the large bowl. 

How to Make the Dressing

  • In a small sauté pan on medium heat, toast the coriander. Grind coriander in a coffee grinder specific for grinding spices. I allocate a white grinder for coffee and a black one for whole spices to keep them separate; after a while, you will just know which is which, but when they are new, you don’t want to end up with an unknown flavor in your morning coffee. 
  • Combine all dressing mixtures in a small food processor. Having a small food processor emulsifies dressing in a snap. 

How to Assemble the Salad

  • Combine corn, poblano pepper, red pepper, black beans, avocado, scallion, serrano chili pepper, and the dressing in a medium to large bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste, combining through the salad. Garnish salad with cotija cheese and finish with salt and pepper to taste. 

Note: I like saving the cobs to add flavor to vegetable stocks, risotto, stews, sauces, or a soup I am cooking that I think would benefit from the added corn flavor. It adds a nice underlying sweetness. You can freeze the cob if you're not going to use them right away. 

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