My name is Hillary and I am a cooking show addict. I could watch Bobby Flay work his magic all day long if you let me. We recently cancelled our cable, though, so now I’m stuck with actually making his recipes, versus watching him from the couch while thinking, “I should really try that someday …” But hey, we’re saving about $100 a month and television rots your brain anyway, right? Right? (If you can’t tell, I’m still trying to convince myself. I really miss my summer indulgences of Food Network Star and Royal Pains.) “This is good for me, this is good for my children …” Deep breath. Repeat.
This grilled-corn salad is one of my favorite Bobby Flay recipes. My friend, Jen, introduced me to it at a barbecue a few years ago, and I’ve made it several times each summer. We’re growing corn and tomatoes in our garden right now, but neither are quite ready, so I had to hit up the store for the ingredients. I’m really looking forward to making it with what we’ve grown ourselves … just a few more weeks! It’s such a great salad for what a lot of people are growing in their own backyards.
The original recipe calls for grilled corn, but for ease and speed this time, I pan roasted mine in a cast-iron skillet and it worked beautifully. (This also will free up the grill for your main course.) The only other changes I typically make are adding two diced avocados, and roughly chopping, versus thinly slicing the onion. I like small pieces of onion in each bite.
The original recipe also says the salad can be made one day in advance, but I DO NOT agree. In fact, don’t even make it hours in advance. You can do the prep work and blend the dressing, but I really think the main ingredients should be combined only up to 30 minutes before serving — it can get pretty mushy otherwise. And plan on eating everything you make the day of. I thought the mushiness might be due to the avocado, but I’ve had leftovers with and without avocado, and find them to be less than delicious. That said, this salad will rock your face off when it’s freshly prepared.
My favorite kitchen trick for this recipe is to microwave your corn for a few minutes before shucking to loosen the silk. You can watch the full process by viewing this America’s Test Kitchen video. Seriously, do yourself a favor and watch it. You’ll never again shuck corn the old-fashioned way. It is such a great time-saver!!
Grilled Corn, Avocado and Tomato-Sweet Onion Salad with Fresh Basil Dressing and Blue Cheese
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 ears corn, grilled in the husk, kernels removed, or pan roasted
- 1 sweet onion (such as Vidalia or Walla Walla), roughly chopped
- 2 Hass avocados, diced
- 1 pint Sweet 100 tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 8 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
- Fresh basil sprigs, for garnish
Combine the vinegar, basil, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and oil in a blender and blend until smooth. Dressing can be made two hours in advance and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using.
Combine the corn kernels, onion and tomato in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat, season with salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature 30 minutes before serving. Fold in diced avocado and crumbled blue cheese, and garnish with basil sprigs just before serving.