7 Summer Salads That Put a Fresh Spin on Corn

Rediscover the healthy side of corn with these seven summer salads that feature the grain.
By: Emily Lee
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Let's talk about corn. And we don't mean boxed muffin mixes or the oily hardened batter that separates basic hot dogs from "corn" dogs. We're talking fresh-off-the-cob kernels of golden summer corn — or "maize," as it's known in its native Mexico. After decades of commercialized farming, we've come to think of this ubiquitous crop as the bane of our healthy-eating efforts, reduced to greasy convenience foods and high-fructose corn syrup — the insidious sweetening agent hidden in many shelf-stable products. It's safe to say the crop's image is in a state of crisis. We've forgotten that, in its purest incarnation, this ancient grain was destined for greatness. Take these seven corn salads, for example, each one paired with more peak-season produce, such as juicy tomatoes, sweet bell peppers and fresh basil. This is exactly the kind of corn renaissance we've been waiting for.

It doesn't get any fresher than Ina Garten's crunchy corn salad. Submerging the quick-boiled cobs in an ice bath may seem like a tedious extra step, but we swear by it. Not only does it stop the cooking right away, but it also preserves the beautiful yellow color for your salad.

Bobby_Flay_Fit_Grilled_Corn_Salad_With_Lime_Red_Chili_And_Cotija.tif

Bobby_Flay_Fit_Grilled_Corn_Salad_With_Lime_Red_Chili_And_Cotija.tif

Bobby Flay's Grilled Corn Salad with lime, Red Chili and Cotija

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Bobby Flay likes his corn salad hot off the grill and, preferably, piled onto a juicy steak. Grill the corn in its own husks to protect it before taking the smoky kernels off the cob and tossing them with Cotija cheese, lime juice, ancho chili powder and creme fraiche.

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

This hearty summer salad showcases two peak-season crops: corn and tomatoes. For optimal flavor, use the freshest corn and tomatoes you can find, and toss in chunks of silky mozzarella cheese for the perfect milky complement.

Photo by: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Alice Gao, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Rachael Ray's foolproof cookout side requires just 10 minutes of prep work with the right vegetables on hand. Combine the corn kernels, black beans, red onion and any other vegetable you desire, then brighten it up with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

Ina Garten's Confetti Corn for Summer Healthy Grilling as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Stephen Johnson, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Ina creates this beautiful sunny salad by combining only the freshest corn with orange bell pepper. The earthier flavor notes of fresh basil, parsley and minced chives help to balance the sweet produce.

KO_FN_08FarroSalad1_012.tif

KO_FN_08FarroSalad1_012.tif

Food Stylist: Rebecca Jurkevich Prop Stylist: Pamela Duncan Silver ,Food Stylist: Rebecca Jurkevich Prop Stylist: Pamela Duncan Silver

Photo by: Kana Okada ©2012, Kana Okada

Kana Okada, 2012, Kana Okada

Food Network Magazine's recipe combines juicy charred corn, tomatoes and nutty farro for a hearty summer salad with great chewy texture. You'll likely find farro with the whole grains in your grocery store (near the quinoa), but if you can't, barley is an excellent stand-in.

FNK_CHARRED_CORN_PANZANELLA_H_.jpg

FNK_CHARRED_CORN_PANZANELLA_H_.jpg

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Food Network Kitchen chefs put a healthier spin on this filling summer salad by using whole-grain boule in place of refined white bread. Sweet balsamic vinegar and serrano chiles lend bold flavor notes to this otherwise delicate mix of corn, tomatoes and cilantro.

Get your fill of fresh summer corn with more great recipes and ideas from our friends:

Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Corn, Pluot and Grape Salad

In Jennie's Kitchen: Easy Homemade Creamed Corn
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