This simple sweet corn and basil salad is perfect for summer cookouts or picnics and served as a side dish to barbeque. Made with only 4 ingredients, this summer sweet corn salad can be ready in less than 10 minutes!
Made with fresh sweet corn, fresh lime juice, and garden-fresh basil, this simple salad is summer in a bowl!
Here’s what you’ll need:
Fresh sweet corn on the cob
Fresh lime (or lemon)
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Anytime I bring up corn, as a registered dietitian, I get questions. Is it healthy? Is corn good for me? Lots of questions so I’m answering a few here!
Can you eat corn raw?
Yes. Sweet corn is delicious right off the cob. You can simply add it directly to the bowl for a salad like this one or pair it up in my crab cakes with corn avocado salsa.
TIP: For more sweet corn flavor, milk the cob.
To get corn milk, remove all kernels from the cob. Place the cob over the bowl of salad or soup or whatever you want to add it to. Use the back of the blade (the not sharp part) to press any clinging liquid (or corn milk) from the cob into your bowl. Corn milk adds flavor, sweetness, and creaminess to any dish and you only get it from fresh corn cobs.
Is corn a vegetable?
Yes. But it’s also a whole grain and a fruit. Wait? What? Yes. You read that right!
Botanically speaking, corn is part of the grass family. And because it bears kernels it can be classified as both a grain and a fruit. But we usually eat it like a vegetable – and that’s often how we think of it – at least here in the United States when it’s served as part of a meal. But equally, it’s seen as a grain in corn tortillas, grits, cornbread or polenta, for example.
So. Not sure if the classification really matters. Corn is obviously a versatile and flavorful food.
Does corn have any health benefits?
Yes. I’ve heard the jokes. And I get the questions…
That many people think that corn offers no nutrition value. But it actually does.
Corn is a nutritious food. One cup of corn provides about 10% of the low end of the daily recommended fiber. And you might be surprised to learn that corn also provides vitamin C and potassium.
And if you’re wondering if there’s any difference between yellow and white and other varieties. There are a few slight differences. Yellow corn gets some of its color from naturally occurring carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin which play an important role in eye health.
Best time of year for corn
My suggestion is to get it during the peak summer season to truly get the best flavor and price. Corn is in season throughout the country from summer to early fall. So it’s very good right now!
How do you julienne basil?
This sounds fancy but julienne is the French word for slicing food into short, thin slices.
I kept the basil in large leaves here to really show it off. But slicing the basil makes the salad a bit easier to eat. And most people prefer smaller bites of basil. I’d think.
If you do slice the basil, do so just before serving. Cutting through basil causes the leaves to darken after just a few minutes. So, to capture that bright green color and wow your guests, add the basil just before you put the salad on the table. But even if it does go dark, no worries. The flavor remains.
What goes well with sweet corn?
Sweet corn is great on its own but you can pair it up with many different flavors. Summer produce such as zucchini, fresh tomatoes, basil, and peaches are delicious with sweet corn.
It also pairs well with cilantro, chile peppers, and black beans. Really the list goes on and on. But one of my favorite ways is to simply enjoy it in a salad like this one where you get all of that sweet flavor.
Or in these Easy Cheesy Corn Cakes!
Summer Sweet Corn and Basil Salad
- 5 ears fresh sweet corn on the cob
- 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- ½ teaspoon reshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup julienned or torn fresh basil
- (Use raw corn or grill, boil, or roast the corn as desired.)
- Shuck the ears of corn and cut the kernels off the cob into a large bowl. If using raw corn, use the back of the knife to scrape each cob to extract the milk from the cob into the bowl.
- Whisk the lime juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a medium mixing bowl. Add the corn kernels and toss until well coated.
- Just before serving, toss in the fresh basil. Taste and adjust the salt or lemon if needed. Serve warm or at room temperature
Can you use can corn
Yes. It will be a little different but you definitely can! I would get the sweet canned corn to closely mimic the flavor of sweet summer corn.
Does frozen corn work?
It does but it won’t taste as good as fresh summer sweet corn. If you have access to a “super sweet” variety of frozen corn at your store, go with that for the closest flavor match.