Corn a plenty! Charred and Raw Corn Salad


When you can't quite make it to your favorite Mexican food truck, try this.

Can’t quite make it to your favorite Mexican food truck? I feel your pain. But try this and you’ll feel better.

This just in: You can refrigerate fresh tomatoes with no ill effects to their taste or texture. I realize this may seem of little consequence to many. But for those of you who have pounds of luscious fresh tomatoes on your counter tops, diligently saving them from “ruin” in the fridge while trying to think of ways to use them before they rot…for you this is a revelation. Read all about the science of it here at Serious Eats, or just take my word for it and reclaim your counter space right now. You’re welcome.

And now, on to the pure gold of the late summer harvest. Fresh corn. Oooh baby do we have fresh corn and is it ever good! Around this time every year my kids ask when we are going to stop having fresh corn every night. My answer is always the same: “Until it’s gone.”

In my search for a fabulous recipe using fresh corn, I made some pretty good savory corn pancakes and explored all the “easiest ways to grill corn” including soaking and removing the silk but not the husks (got an update for you: not that easy!), but none of the recipes really seemed blog worthy. My very favorite uses for fresh corn are inevitably not recipes but impulses: adding it to jarred salsa; making it the star if its own salsa with leftover guacamole fixings; or just tossing it into a salad or frittata. It sort of becomes a happy, use-me-capriciously-while-I’m-here condiment.

Indeed, no fresh corn recipe really spoke to me until Tania, my Rocky Mountain correspondent, sent me this Charred and Raw Corn recipe from Bon Appetit, which has all the goodness of fully-loaded Mexican grilled corn without the hand-held mess. After making it four times in a week I can say it is one of my faves, in taste and in method. It features a truly easy way to grill corn, for use in salads or salsa or for just plain eating off the cob, which to me is still the best way to eat fresh corn.

So, enjoy this totally portable side/salad in the glow of Indian Summer, and get yourself some extra cilantro and peppers just in case you find yourself making it a few more times than you anticipated.


4 ears of corn, husked
1 large shallot, thinly sliced into rings
½ red chile (such as Holland or Fresno), with seeds, thinly sliced into rings
¼ cup fresh lime juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 oz. fresh Cotija cheese or queso fresco, crumbled (I used goat cheese. (*LTOYW)
¼ cup cilantro leaves with tender stems


  • Prepare grill for medium heat. Cut kernels from 1 corn cob and toss with shallot, chile, and lime juice in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • Brush remaining 3 ears of corn with 2 Tbsp. oil and grill, turning occasionally, until very tender and charred in spots, 10–12 minutes. Let cool.
  • Cut kernels from cobs and add to reserved corn mixture along with cheese, cilantro, and remaining 2 Tbsp. oil. Toss to combine; season with salt and pepper.

Bring it

Tupperware baby! This dish all about picnics and tailgates.

*I use this often enough that it deserves it’s own acronym. Love The One You’re With. As in, embrace what you’ve got. As in don’t let a few missed ingredients spoil the moment. As in, when you live in New Hampshire you won’t find Mexican specialty cheese at the corner store.

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