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Besides potato salad, this fresh corn salad is my go-to side dish in the summer. The recipe is originally Ina Garten’s; over the years, my version lost the onion (my husband doesn’t always like raw onion) and moved from cider to balsamic vinegar. I’ve made this with cherry tomatoes tossed in and with grilled corn instead of boiled, but my favorite version is the recipe below. The quantities are guidelines, as this salad easily incorporates an extra ear or two of corn, a handful of diced bell pepper, an extra tablespoonful of basil. While best on the day it’s made, it will keep in the fridge for a day or two; it just doesn’t look quite as pretty. If you need it to travel, pack the oil and vinegar separate from the corn and dress the salad just before serving.

Fresh Corn Salad (serves 6 as a side)

  • 3 or so ears of shucked corn
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 – 3 T. fresh basil, minced or chiffonaded
  • 2 T. good quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 T. balsamic vinegar

Cook the corn by steaming, grilling or boiling it; I do the latter, though you could argue it’s more of a blanch than a boil. If your corn is good and fresh, it needs barely more than a quick dip in the water, 3-5 mins. at the most. When the corn is cooked to your liking, allow it to cool to room temperature and then cut it off the cob. I like leaving bigger sections of corn, but you can break it all up into individual kernels if you like. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss; taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve immediately.