Fresh charred corn kernels, crisp cucumbers, sweet carrots, shallots, and fresh herbs come together to make this delicious grilled corn salad recipe! You’ll love the bright and simple corn salad dressing and big Mediterranean flavors (you can add feta too)!
Summer corn salad
Grilling an ear of corn over the direct heat of a gas burner is the easiest and fastest way I know to get perfectly charred kernels! But in the absence of a gas stove, you can use an outdoor grill or even an indoor griddle. Anyway to get to grill it, fresh corn is just that much more delicious!
We eat sweet grilled corn all summer long–as a snack, finished with a dash of Aleppo pepper flakes and a squeeze of lime juice, or as a side dish next to other grilled things like whole grilled chicken or salmon.
But if you’re looking for more ideas, this fresh corn salad with crunchy veggies and bold Mediterranean flavors is worth a try! You’ll love the light dressing and bold flavors from fresh herbs, ginger, and cumin. And it’s the perfect make-ahead salad because it’s even more delicious the next day!
In this post
- Summer corn salad
- What should I look for when buying corn?
- Ingredients you’ll need for this corn salad recipe
- The dressing
- How to make grilled corn salad
- Can I use frozen corn instead of fresh corn in this recipe?
- How to cut corn off the cob
- Ideas for serving grilled corn salad
- Leftovers and storage
- More summer salad recipes
What should I look for when buying corn?
A good corn salad starts with the best sweet corn you can find. When buying corn, look for bright green husks that are wrapped tightly around the ear (no dry husks or brown spots).
The tassels – the corn silk that peeks out at the top – should also be fresh-looking and damp, and light brown or golden in color. Avoid corn with tassels that are black, dry, or mushy. And the kernels should feel firm and full, with no soft spots or sections with missing corn kernels.
Ingredients you’ll need for this corn salad recipe
This easy summer salad takes just a handful of simple ingredients beginning with fresh sweet corn. Here is what you need to make it:
- Corn - 4 ears of fresh corn, husks removed.
- English cucumber, chopped - No need to peel. Cucumber is a great way to add freshness to salads.
- Carrots, chopped - For sweetness, crunch, and bright color.
- Shallots, chopped - Or you can use ½ small red onion. The flavor will be a bit more pungent if you use onion instead of shallots.
- Fresh ginger and garlic - To add some warmth and a hint of sweet spiciness to the corn salad, which complements the cooling fresh herbs.
- Fresh herbs - Chopped dill and cilantro (or parsley, if you don’t like cilantro). ).
- Cumin - Fruity cumin to enrich the other flavors in the salad by providing an earthy flavor base.
The perfect dressing for this salad is one that is light with just enough acid to enhance the sweetness of the corn. My corn salad dressing is made of a large splash of red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Use a medium-intensity olive oil like our fruity Spanish Hojiblanca EVOO, or even a more robust oil like our peppery Early Harvest Greek EVOO.
How to make grilled corn salad
Grilling the corn is the most time-consuming part of this easy corn salad recipe (and it only takes a few minutes). Once that’s done, all you need to do is combine the salad ingredients and add the dressing!
- Grill the corn. Be sure to remove the husks and clean the corn well. From there, you have three options to grill your corn. My preference is to grill the corn cob over a gas burner, which takes about 5 minutes. To do so, turn the gas burner over medium-high heat and place the corn directly over the burner with a pair of heat-safe tongs. Using the tongs, rotate the corn occasionally, until it is charred all over. Stand back a bit, because the corn might pop as it cooks.
- Shave the corn kernels off the cob. Allow the corn to cool completely. Then, using a sharp knife, shave the kernels off by slicing from the top of the cob to the bottom. Be sure to do this in a large mixing bowl (see more details on this just below).
- Prepare the vegetables. Chop ½ English cucumber, 2 carrots, and 1 or 2 shallots, and add them to the bowl with the grilled corn. Mince 2 cloves of garlic and add it as well.
- Add the fresh herbs and spices. Add ½ cup each chopped fresh dill and cilantro (or flat-leaf parsley) to the bowl and season with kosher salt, 1 teaspoon cumin, and 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger root.
- Dress the salad. Drizzle 2 tablespoons each red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil and toss to combine. Serve and enjoy!
Can I use frozen corn instead of fresh corn in this recipe?
Yes, you can use frozen corn kernels or frozen corn on the cob instead of fresh corn in this recipe for corn salad.
If using frozen corn on the cob, you can grill it directly from frozen for about 10 minutes. Frozen corn on the cob has been blanched, so it is already slightly cooked.
For frozen corn kernels, you’ll need about 2 cups, which is the approximate yield of 4 medium ears of corn. Cook it according to package instructions on the stovetop.
How to cut corn off the cob
I know a lot of people don’t like cutting corn kernels off the cob because kernels end up flying everywhere and making a huge mess. Here’s how I cut corn off the cob - no mess, no fuss:
- Grab two bowls, one small and one large. Turn the small bowl upside-down and place it in the middle of the large mixing bowl.
- Hold one grilled corn on the cob with your non-dominant hand and rest the tip on the small bowl.
- Holding a sharp knife in your dominant hand, shave the kernels off the cob in long downward strokes. The large bowl will catch all the kernels as they fall.
Ideas for serving grilled corn salad
This satisfying corn salad recipe can easily stand alone as a light lunch, but it can also make a delicious bed for salmon patties, grilled shrimp skewers, or chicken. This is a particularly delicious salad to bring to your next cookout as it holds well for hours and goes with all-things BBQ including chicken wings!
Leftovers and storage
Once dressed, this fresh corn salad will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for 2 days. If you hold off on dressing it, it will keep for about 4 days.
More summer salad recipes
Easy Fresh Grilled Corn Salad
- 4 ears of corn, grilled (see my quick tutorial for how to grill corn)
- ½ English cucumber, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 to 2 shallots, or ½ small red onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger root,
- ½ cup chopped fresh dill
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
- Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Follow this recipe to grill your corn over the gas stove or an outdoor grill (this will take 5 to 10 minutes). Allow the corn to cool before removing the kernels off the cob.
- Invert a small bowl in the middle of a large mixing bowl. Hold an ear of corn upright, resting the tip of the cob over the small bowl in the center of your mixing bowl. Holding the cob steady with your non-dominant hand, use a sharp knife (you should be holding the knife with your dominant hand) and shave the kernels off the cob in long downward strokes.
- Add the cucumber, carrots, shallots or red onions, minced garlic.
- Add the herbs, and season with a good dash of kosher salt, cumin, and the grated ginger root.
- Dress the salad with your red wine vinegar and a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Toss until well-combined.
- If you haven't grilled corn before, check out my guide for how to cook corn on the cob, where I share 3 different methods.
- How to choose corn at the store? Look for ears of corn with bright green, tightly adhering husks -- they shouldn't be dry nor have brown spots. The corn silk that peeks out of the top of the corn should be damp and light brown in color. If it is black or dry, avoid! Corn kernels should feel firm and full.
- Can I use frozen corn in this recipe? Yes, you can use either frozen corn on the cob or corn kernels. For frozen corn on the cob, grill it from frozen for about 10 minutes. For corn kernels, you'll need about 2 cups. Cook according to package instructions.
- Serving suggestions: Grilled corn salad can be eaten by itself for a light meal, but it's also delicious next to other favorites such as salmon patties, shrimp skewers, or chicken wings.
- How to store leftovers: This corn salad will keep for about 2 days in an airtight container in the fridge after it's been dressed. If not dressed, it will keep for about 4 days.
- Visit Our Shop for quality Mediterranean ingredients including olive oils and spices (like the cumin used in this recipe).