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
4 to 6
apple cider vinegar
sea salt, plus more to taste, divided
red pepper flakes
large red onion, ends trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch-thick slices
ears sweet corn
limes, peel and pith cut off and discarded, quartered
large clove garlic, smashed, peeled, and chopped
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.)
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.)
Prepare a hot grill.
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.
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.
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.