Make Ahead

Amagansett Corn Salad

May 31, 2021
15 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Every summer I seem to come across the best of the season's corn out on the East end of Long Island. Rather than do anything to mar the flavor of the sweet, sweet corn, I make this absurdly easy, very delicious raw corn salad. Truth be told, I wing it with this "recipe" every time -- the ingredients and quantities shift slightly based on what's handy -- but the below gives you an approximate idea of the flavors and process.

UPDATE: I just remembered one of my favorite additions to this very flexible recipe... bacon! Or even better, transform it from a light side dish to a hearty entree with grilled and sliced chorizo or italian sausage. —Peter

Test Kitchen Notes

This corn salad epitomizes the freshness of summer. Sweet raw corn kernels and their milk mix with the bright acid of tomatoes and the kick of red onion; a hint of balsamic vinegar adds a caramel tang. The flavors mellow and meld as the salad sits for a bit. Peter says they're optional, but we added both the basil and sugar snaps, blanching the latter briefly in salted boiling water and removing the strings before cutting them in thirds. We upped the balsamic vinegar to 4 tablespoons because we'd added another quart of veggies -- you can simply add it to taste. - A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 8 ears of white corn
  • 2 quarts cherry tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons high-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 quart sugar snap peas (optional)
  • 1 handful roughly chopped basil or flat-leaf parsley (optional)
  • Salt, preferably a large, coarse sea salt like Maldon.
  • Pepper
  1. Strip raw corn from ears. Yep, raw. You can use a fancy corn stripper or just run your chef's knife down the side of each ear about 8 times.
  2. Slice all cherry tomatoes in half or quarters depending on your preference.
  3. Chop the red onion into a large dice.
  4. If using the sugar snap peas (they can be hard to find when the corn and tomatoes are available -- their seasons barely overlap, and even then you're likely getting corn and tomatoes from the south and sugar snaps from the North.) Anyway, if using them, cut in half or thirds to make more bite-sized. If you're not using them, and you want a little green for visual appeal, some roughly chopped basil or flat-leaf parsley will do the trick.
  5. Toss all vegetables in a bowl, along with the vinegar, salt, and pepper.
  6. That's it. Enjoy!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Lee
  • joelle
  • Risottogirl
  • Dean Jones
    Dean Jones
  • Cheryl

41 Reviews

NXL August 15, 2021
I seriously doubted that this could be very good with such a simple dressing, but it definitely is. Goes to show that seasonal, fresh vegetables need very little help. Wonderful!
Peter August 16, 2021
You dare to doubt the power of the corn salad??!?

In all seriousness, The corn milk combined with the balsamic -- with a bit of tomato leakage thrown in -- makes a delicious dressing. I suggest white balsamic to keep the end result from getting muddy. Enjoy!
Lee March 23, 2019
I made this—-with cooked, frozen, roasted corn from Trader Joe’s. Could not decide what it needed—-some fresh lime juice and red wine vinegar did the trick. Delicious.
Peter March 25, 2019
Lee, I'm so glad this ancient recipe (I posted it almost 10 years ago!) worked out for you. If you liked it with frozen TJ corn wait until you try in August with fresh corn and cherry tomatoes.
joelle August 4, 2016
Made with fresh, sweet corn from the local farmer's market, this recipe was perfection. My only comment is that the servings has to be wrong -- as delicious as it was, I don't think it is humanly possible to eat a fourth of this recipe in one sitting (and we tried!). With medium-sized ears of corn, we easily got 8 generous servings -- probably more.
Risottogirl June 30, 2016
We have had local corn for several weeks now in San Francisco and local tomatoes are just appearing so this is perfect timing for the 4th! Yay!
Dean J. June 23, 2016
Thinking about making this one for a July 4th party. Does it serve more than 4? And if I wanted to serve 10-12, would just doubling the recipe work? Looks delicious and fresh, by the way... Look forward to making it!
Peter June 27, 2016
So glad my recipe sounds appealling to you. It's been years since I wrote it up but I'd say it would definitely serve more than 4 -- the recipe calls for 8 ears of corn so that figure at least 8 people.

One word of warning, this recipe is all about the quality of fresh corn and cherry tomatoes. I don't know where you live but I suspect they're not really in season anywhere yet.
Shortrib June 8, 2016
Very different salad. Crunchy and refreshing, even 3rd (!) day. I thought the raw corn and snow peas would wreak some digestive havoc, but no problems at all! I will try it next time with bacon!
Peter June 27, 2016
So glad you liked my recipe. And yes, bacon sounds like it would be a *great* addition.
Cheryl July 27, 2015
Really enjoyed this--but you definitely need to prepare in advance to let flavors marry. I would make this the day ahead and refrigerate with out tomatoes and then add tomatoes at the end--but let it sit out of refrig for a while. I don't love cold tomatoes. I halved the recipe and forgot to halve the balsamic--still good!
Fran August 4, 2013
Made this for lunch today. It is so simple and so fresh but full of great flavor! :) This will be a great go-to lunch to pack for work. I am super excited! Thanks for sharing!
Peter August 5, 2013
You're welcome and so glad you enjoyed it. Do post any variations you invent here so others can enjoy the deliciousness.
brookeandskylar August 26, 2012
Yum. I added just a bit of Fig vinegar too. I love the new way to cut many cherry tomatoes. not a smidge of olive oil, none. Thank you.
joycew August 4, 2012
i am going to make this again next week, but will grill the corn to put some color and smokiness on it.
joycew August 2, 2012
leftovers (not nearly enough) for lunch today with a bit of feta added for protein. delicious!!
joycew August 1, 2012
made 1/2 recipe. excellent. made a couple of changes based on items on hand. no peas, added fresh parsley (will omit next time..not liking so much), chiffonade of fresh basil on each serving was great! added 2tbsp capers and a bit of olive oil to the dressing. looking forward to lunch tomorrow! will definitely make again...and again!
Peter August 1, 2012
Joyce, so glad you enjoyed it. And you totally understand the point of the recipe -- it's really all about throwing together raw corn with whatever you have handy that's fresh. Enjoy the Summer!
Kristen M. August 11, 2011
1. Gorgeous photo.

2. Delicious.
Peter August 11, 2011

Next time try it with bacon!
Kristen M. August 11, 2011
3. Healthy (if you're into that sort of thing).

4. I could go for some right this second, instead of this babka I'm eating.
Midge August 9, 2011
I made this with sungolds the other night and I'm pretty sure I could live on this salad alone for days. Love it.
Peter August 9, 2011
Midge, Thanks! This is high praise coming from someone with a few Editors' Picks under their belt.
dymnyno July 30, 2011
wow...I noticed that back when this was first entered there was only 3 times have changed!!!
Amanda H. July 30, 2011
So funny. I remember those days .... when we were so worried no one would enter the contests that we'd call/email all of our family members insisting they submit recipes!
MisterJuly July 29, 2011
Do you recommend any kind of tomatoes?
Blissful B. June 12, 2011
Summer's here! We made this today for brunch with friends. So simple & delicious. I love how the raw corn adds a sweet "corn juice" that creates the perfect dressing with the balsamic vinegar. We included the optional sugar snap peas & fresh basil & were surprised that the basil brought a subtle licorice taste to the dish. This recipe's a keeper. Thanks Peter!
Blissful B. June 12, 2011
PS. We didn't pre-cook the sugar snap peas; we just removed their strings & chopped them up. I love that this salad requires no cooking at all. Perfect on a hot summer day!
Peter June 13, 2011
Glad you enjoyed it. And as yummy as I'm sure yours is, wait until August when both the corn and the sungold cherry tomatoes are at their maximum yumminess. (Though finding sugar snaps by then will be hard. Tradeoffs! Tradeoffs!)
TheHealthyApple February 20, 2011
This looks beautiful; I can't wait for summer corn. Such a lovely recipe!
boxinghelena September 1, 2010
Can you substitue frozen bagged corn when it is not in season? If so, how much?
Amanda H. September 2, 2010
You need 4 to 5 cups. It's worth trying, but can't promise it will work. I'm concerned it may seem starchy. You might want to just cook the frozen corn, blend it with the tomatoes and the rest, and have it as a warm salad. Seems like that might turn out better. Good luck!
EmilyNunn July 20, 2010
I know this recipe has been up for a while, but I just made it this weekend for a rooftop cookout. It was absolutely delicious and we have enjoyed the leftovers for lunch. Bravo!
Peter July 20, 2010
Glad you enjoyed it and I guess because the first corn and sungold cherry tomatoes of the season are showing up, I made it this weekend too!