Summer is right around the corner (hopefully) and that means simple, fresh dishes are going to be making their appearance soon. I have several dishes that I tend to always jump back to during the summer, and I think this salad is going to be one of them. I have never made a salad like this before, but I am thrilled with the results. This salad is a perfect balance of sweet and tangy, with subtle umami from the roasted corn.
I hear a lot of myths and misconceptions around corn, and the general consensus seems to be that people think it is unhealthy. If you’re reading this, I want you to know that, in my opinion, this is not true. Corn is a great source of fiber, which most Americans are not consuming enough of. (1,2) In addition, corn can be a great source of both vitamin A and C. (2,3) Corn might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a “superfood” but what do you classify as a superfood? Many people consider high antioxidant content being a superfood. Well, did you know corn is a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin? These are both beneficial antioxidants that help fight against free radicals, possibly slowing cancer growth rates. In my opinion, corn is just another vegetable, and can be a great addition to many peoples’ diets, and is also generally low-cost! Corn is a crop that is frequently sprayed for pests and that can lead to some of its bad rap in the food world. This is a concern for all foods we eat and is why asking questions of local farms is so important. If growing practices are of concern to you, we highly recommend that you ask the farm about its methods. Any farm should be open to sharing this information with you and it’s a great opportunity for some self-education!
Feta & Mint Charred Corn Salad!
- 3 cups corn kernels (I use frozen for simplicity and cost, you do not need to thaw for this recipe)
- 1 Tbsp canola oil
- 3 green onions/scallions, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
- 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled (I like to buy the fresh blocks and crumble it myself)
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (you could also use all red wine vinegar)
- Salt & pepper to taste
First, preheat the broiler in your oven. If you have a low/high option, I would recommend low.
Next, in a large bowl, mix your corn kernels with the canola oil. Spread the kernels on a baking sheet, and try to minimize the amount of overlapping.
Now, put your corn kernels under the broiler. If they were frozen (like mine), they will take longer to char. In my oven, it took about 5 minutes under the broiler from frozen to achieve the perfect level of char. I would recommend checking in on them at the 2 minute mark and every minute after that, because they can go from perfect to burnt quicker than you would think!
Take your corn kernels out of the oven and let them come to room temperature. Place them in a large bowl with the scallions, mint, and feta. Drizzle with the olive oil. Mix everything up.
Add in the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and vinegar(s) of your choice. Mix everything up one last time, and enjoy!
This salad tastes delicious as is and is also delicious the next day after letting flavors sit overnight.