A tasty Sweet Corn Salad with cilantro & lime that you are sure to enjoy! Take advantage of fresh seasonal produce and make this easy recipe for summer corn salad.
Hi! My name is Sonia and simple and easy is my mantra!
Looking for a crisp and tasty sweet corn salad to serve at your next BBQ with friends or to be enjoyed alone while sitting alfresco?
Then read along because this cold corn salad recipe is for you. It doesn’t take long for this flavorful salad to come together.
Just like this watermelon and feta salad, there is no boiling, blanching, or grilling required.
I am dedicating this recipe to my dear mother Adele and yes Ma, I am keeping it raw!
Let’s take a closer look at this variety of corn before I show you how easy this recipe comes together.
What is sweet corn?
Sweet corn is one of six corn varieties. Unlike other corn varieties that are harvested when the kernels are dry and mature, sweet corn is harvested when immature, during the milk stage.
For this reason, sweet corn has a high sugar content which lends that delicious sweet taste that we all look forward to when corn season rolls around.
Sweet corn does not store well and needs to be eaten fresh mainly because of the maturing process, which involves converting sugars to starch, toughens the kernels. Bottom line, do not let it linger and use it up as soon as you can, preferably the same day.
How to choose an ear of sweet corn without pulling back the husks and unnerving the vendor?
- Look for husks that have a bright and lively green color;
- Freshness can be felt in the husks; a damp and moist feel is ideal;
- Gently feel the kernels through the husks and look for the fullness. Plump is what you want!
- Brown tiny holes at the tip are not desirable. Avoid those wormy holes by taking a peek,
without pulling back the husk!
- Oh, as for those silk strands sticking out at the tip, brown and sticky is what to aim for.
If you are still uncertain, just ask the vendor and he/she will guide you.
Now, maybe I am telling you the obvious, but buying in season, from a local farmer’s market, is the way to go. Knowing that your produce is grown locally and has not traveled so far, almost always guarantees freshness.
Removing the corn kernels
To remove the kernels from the cob, just hold the ear firmly (wider end in a large bowl) in a large bowl. Cut straight down the cob with a sharp knife, cutting two to three rows at a time.
Milking corn cobs
Once the kernels are sliced off, use the back of your knife to scrape down the sides of the cob. Notice little bits of kernels and their juices. Simply let them drop into the bowl along with the rest of the kernels.
How to eat sweet corn?
Sweet corn can be eaten in so many wonderful ways.
It can be eaten on the cob boiled (classic), grilled, or roasted. Corn kernels can be tossed into stews, soups, salads and casseroles. If you love chowder, then why not try this corn potato chowder, it doesn’t disappoint!
And yes, fresh sweet corn kernels can be consumed raw. They do not need to be cooked for flavor and digestibility although cooking them just a tad could slightly boost and intensify the flavor. But why bother with blanching or boiling when sweet corn can be eaten just like that? When fresh, it is heavenly sweet and easy to chew.
Are you ready to start prepping?
First, we begin by preparing the corn.
This entails removing the husks (green outer leaves) and silks (long golden silky strands that lay between the corn and) the husks.
Place the cob in a large bowl and with a sharp knife slice the kernels and let them drop into the bowl.
Next, we need to toast the pine nuts. Heat a small skillet over medium-high, add the pine nuts and toast until lightly golden and fragrant.
Keep a close watch and stir occasionally as they can burn easily. Transfer nuts to a small bowl and allow them to cool down.
For the remainder of ingredients: Dice up the red pepper, remove seeds and ribs from the jalapeno and mince finely. Thinly slice scallions on the diagonal and add to the bowl along with corn, red and jalapeno peppers.
Next, roughly chop the coriander and add to a bowl along with the lime zest. Lastly, add the feta, season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and lime juice, toss to combine. Taste and adjust to your preference. Simple as that!
This Mexican inspired raw corn salad is delicious on its own but also a great accompaniment for grilled meat, fish, or poultry. Top it off with some sprouts; toss in some black beans and avocado; add a heaping scoop to your green salad for a light and easy meal.
Summer salad recipes we love
My love for sweet corn began in elementary school when the new school year would be celebrated with a corn roast.
The farmers arrived early in the morning with a truckload of corn and a large stockpot to be filled with water. It was most intriguing to watch the farmers dunk the sweet corn into the boiling water and to pull them out only a few moments later to be slathered in butter and sprinkled with salt.
The corn was always perfectly sweet, crisp and tender! An event I always looked forward to! That’s when I realized corn at home was boiled too long, completely soft and tasting starchy. It is my first memory of that sweet, sweet corn taste that has inspired me to make this.
It took some effort over the years to convince my mother that corn does not need to be cooked too long and now I need to convince her that it can be eaten raw.
This best corn salad recipe has been adapted from Joshua McFadden’s Six Season Cookbook; a wonderful book that celebrates vegetables and seasonal cooking.
The original recipe included ingredients such as sweet corn, walnuts, mint and pecorino Romano cheese. My version has been modified to include toasted pine nuts, cilantro and feta cheese.
As we all know, recipes are here to guide and inspire us and not necessarily to follow to the letter. Please your palate and adjust to your liking; nothing needs to be so precise especially when making a fresh corn salad.
Maybe next time I will use cotija cheese instead of feta or basil instead of cilantro? The options are endless!
I hope you will enjoy this refreshing salad as much as I did and thanks for dropping by!
THANKS SO MUCH for following and being part of the She Loves Biscotti community where you will find Simple & Tasty Family-Friendly Recipes with an Italian Twist.
★★★★★ If you have made this sweet corn recipe, I would love to hear about it in the comments below and be sure to rate the recipe!
Sweet Corn Salad
- 4 ears sweet corn husked and kernels sliced off
- 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1 medium red pepper diced
- 1 large jalapeno finely chopped finely chopped
- 3 scallions sliced on the diagonal
- 1 cup cilantro leaves loosely packed, roughly chopped
- ½ cup Greek feta crumbled
- Zest and juice of 1 fresh lime
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a small skillet over medium high heat, toast pine nuts lightly. Keep a close watch and shake skillet or stir occasionally to avoid burning. When nicely golden, remove from heat and transfer to a small bowl to cool.
- In a medium bowl, add sweet corn kernels, pine nuts, red pepper, jalapeno pepper, scallions, cilantro, feta, zest of lime and toss to combine.
- Drizzle mixture with lime juice and olive oil. Season with kosher salt and black.
- Give one final toss and adjust olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.
Hi! I’m Sonia, a professional dietitian and cookbook addict with a passion for food in every sense of the way. As a busy working mom, I’m simply trying to get through life one meal at a time! My goals? To inspire you to eat healthy with pleasure and to bring homemade and home-cooked back to the table.