Charred Corn Salad with Quick Pickles and Lime Dressing

By Elizabeth Stark
July 15, 2015
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Author Notes: A creamy, pucker-inducing dressing that's made in the blender with the flesh of a lime unites the flavors of smoky charred corn, tangy quick-pickled onions, and sweet nectarines in this delicious (and unusual) summer salad. Elizabeth Stark

Serves: 4 to 6

  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste, divided
  • 6 allspice berries
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 large red onion, ends trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch-thick slices
  • 2 ears sweet corn
  • 2 limes, peel and pith cut off and discarded, quartered
  • 1 large clove garlic, smashed, peeled, and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 head lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 to 3 nectarines, pits removed, and sliced thin
  1. To prepare quick-pickled onions, combine apple cider vinegar, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, allspice, peppercorns, and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan. Set over medium-high heat. When mixture starts to steam and sugar has dissolved, add sliced onions, pressing a bit to make sure all slices are immersed. Steep in the brine for 10 minutes. If working ahead, place onions and brine in a wide mouth jar, cool to room temperature, then seal and refrigerate. (If you don't have time to make ahead, they'll still be delicious.)
  2. Fill a sink with cold water and soak the corn, husks and all. (This step isn't absolutely necessary, but it helps to plump the kernels.)
  3. Prepare a hot grill.
  4. Shuck corn and set over hot coals. Cook each ear until nicely charred, rotating a quarter turn every 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside to cool, then slice kernels from the cob and sprinkle with sea salt.
  5. To prepare dressing, combine the lime, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, and sherry vinegar in the pitcher of a blender. Pulse to break down limes, scrape the sides, then turn blender to low. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Add a pinch or two of sea salt, as needed.
  6. Toss lettuce with several tablespoons dressing and arrange in a large serving bowl. Scatter over the quick-pickled onions and nectarine slices. Top off with corn kernels and a generous drizzle of lime dressing, and toss gently. Finish with several twists of black pepper and a pinch of sea salt. Serve immediately.

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