Charred Corn Salad with Quick Pickles and Lime Dressing

By Elizabeth Stark
July 15, 2015
4 Comments


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

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  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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Reviews (4) Questions (0)

4 Comments

Judith P. July 28, 2016
Yikes, yes, I must agree with Emily Love. Even after being prepared by the recipe preface about the puckeriness of the dressing, I still was left wondering what I'd done wrong that the dressing was overly tart, and bitter. I'd scrupulously peeled the limes and removed any pith, but, it was too intense for me and my husband. I would love to work with the vinaigrette, though, and find a balance between the tartness and just enough sweetness (maybe just squeeze the juice? Mexican limes?). It would be a great partner with the nectarines, in particular, that are rich but bright and a little floral.
 
Emily L. July 11, 2016
it could be me but this did just not come together for me at all! between the SUPER acidic salad dressing (yes I realize it says tart and mouth puckering above) and the acidic quick pickles I didn't find the salad balanced (even with the nectarines and sweet corn). I added honey to the salad dressing but still not feeling it.
 
Linda C. July 17, 2015
A better brine is 1 cup apple cider vinegar to 1/2 cup water adding 2 Tbs. sugar and 1 Tbs kosher salt. Add daikon, slivered carrots, thinly sliced celery or cucumbers. This lasts refrigerated three weeks. The brine can be doubled as well. This is the brine used in Vietnamese bahn mi baguettes.
 
Author Comment
Elizabeth S. July 18, 2015
Hi Linda, Thanks for checking out my recipe. I agree – your's a great brine for bahn mi pickles. But this recipe is for quick-pickled onions, and I think it's perfectly suited to that task.