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
ears of white corn
high-quality balsamic vinegar
medium red onion
sugar snap peas (optional)
roughly chopped basil or flat-leaf parsley (optional)
Salt, preferably a large, coarse sea salt like Maldon.
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.
Slice all cherry tomatoes in half or quarters depending on your preference.
Chop the red onion into a large dice.
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.
Toss all vegetables in a bowl, along with the vinegar, salt, and pepper.