5 Ingredients or Fewer

Raw Sweet Corn Tossed with Buttermilk and Herbs

June 28, 2011
4 Ratings
  • Makes 5-6 cups
Author Notes

Five ingredients, three minutes of prep time, and bold, brilliant flavor. . . . my favorite kind of summer food! Use whatever fresh herbs you like here. Dill's tartness works well with the intense sweetness of fresh raw corn, though I also like marjoram, thyme and parsley here. NB however that marjoram can be tricky. Though gentle in braises and soup, it asserts itself when raw, especially if you pick it from a plant that's been in full sun. So go easy on it, using just a bit at first. I recommend letting this stand for a while before eating. We use this as a condiment, spooning it on wraps made with fresh-off-the griddle roti, a few pieces of butter lettuce, and dukkah-dusted fried fish or grilled chicken. Incidentally, this recipe also works well with lightly cooked corn, if you happen to have some on hand. So enjoy!! ;o) —AntoniaJames

Test Kitchen Notes

This five ingredient fresh corn salad is bursting with the vibrant flavors of summer and couldn’t be easier to assemble. Each of the ingredients complement each other and the sweet corn without being pushy. I particularly liked how the earthy and slightly smoky fresh marjoram gently flavored each bite. The buttermilk, too, brought a lovely tangy creaminess to the party. We also tried this dish with cooked corn, which works, but we preferred the freshness and crunch of the raw kernels. This is a perfect make-ahead side dish for picnics, potlucks and summer dinners out on the patio. I plan to make this delicious salad all summer long. —cookinginvictoria

What You'll Need
  • 4 ears of sweet corn
  • 2 or 3 teaspoons of finely chopped herbs -- dill, marjoram, thyme, parsley, whatever you like
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk (or more to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons fruity olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  1. Cut the corn off the cobs, without cooking it. (Or, use some extra ears that you cooked and cooled right away.)
  2. Whisk together the buttermilk and oil. Toss the corn with the dressing and then sprinkle on and toss with the herbs. Add a small pinch of salt. Toss again.
  3. Allow it to sit for about an hour, if possible, then taste again. Does it need more salt? Could it use more herbs? Answer and proceed accordingly.
  4. Grind some good black pepper over it and toss once more, right before serving. (I always put a few allspice berries in my pepper grinder. I read it about years ago, in an early book by Edward Behr. It's a great idea, especially for a dish like this, where every flavor will be noticed.)
  5. Enjoy!! ;o)

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • QueenSashy
  • darksideofthespoon
  • checker
  • AntoniaJames
  • kmartinelli

Recipe by: AntoniaJames

See problem, solve problem. Ask questions; question answers. Disrupt, with kindness, courtesy and respect. ;o)

9 Reviews

QueenSashy July 18, 2013
Yay! I knew this will be shortlisted! Such a wonderful dish!
This looks lovely! I have a good feeling about it!
QueenSashy July 3, 2013
Nothing better than the raw sweet corn. I love your salad and cannot wait to try it!
checker August 9, 2011
So far I have felt like growing sweet corn in my tiny community garden plot would be a tremendous waste of space. But just last week my fiance said, "I miss real sweet corn." So, it may mean sacrificing a tomato plant or some beans, but I think I will plant a few seeds next year. Meanwhile, this year I have found a vendor at my favorite farmers market who seems to have good, real, sweet corn, so I will plan to buy a few extra ears and give this a try. Thanks for sharing! (And thank you for testing my recipe!)
AntoniaJames July 3, 2011
I finally was able to get my own copy of "Flatbreads and Flavors" by Alford and Duguid the other day. It includes a dukkah recipe, which calls for thyme! I made dukkah-fried fish (using pauljoseph's method, with rice flour, which I highly recommend), so instead of using marjoram, I used freshly picked English thyme. It was sublime! It's much more subtle, but compliments the dukkah nicely. Just FYI. ;o)
kmartinelli June 29, 2011
What a wonderful relish! I never would have come up with this combination on my own, so thank you! Can't wait to try.
AntoniaJames June 29, 2011
Thank you, KM. I hope you do!! I had a bit of extra chopped marjoram from another more conventional use -- and we were having corn that night, so I rolled buttered cobs of cooked corn in it. The unanimous verdict was, "Amazing!!" Then I thought, "Why not in a fresh corn salad?" So I put some in my "Summer Salad," (posted here), which we liked, a lot. And then last week, when I was making some raw corn raita for a curry, the light bulb went off and the buttermilk + marjoram combination was born. The timing was perfect because the next night, I made dukkah-dusted fried fish (the recipe for which I plan to post, if I have a chance, this weekend) and fresh roti. The combination is magical. Dukkah + marjoram tastes a bit like a good Bavarian sausage, of all things. ;o)
boulangere June 28, 2011
Totally agree with your about the fresh marjoram. Lovely.
AntoniaJames June 29, 2011
Thanks so much, boulangere! My marjoram plant has been going wild these past few months, with the nice spring and early summer weather, so I've been having a lot of fun with it. ;o)