Fresh Corn Salad with Scallions and Basil

4.5 stars based on 9 votes

fresh-corn-salad-with-scallions-and-basil

Over Memorial Day weekend, we had 20 guests over for a casual BBQ. I wanted to serve fresh corn on the cob, but did not want to be the stereotypical frazzled hostess standing over a hot stove boiling 20 ears of corn while my guests kicked back outside sipping Sangria. My solution was to make a simple corn salad that I could do ahead of time: sweet corn scraped off the cob, mild scallions and fresh basil in a tart white wine vinaigrette. Not only was it easy and delicious, it was a refreshing change from the usual (and messy) corn on the cob slathered with butter.

Begin by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil.  I also usually throw a few tablespoons of sugar into the water to ensure that the corn is sweet (definitely sacrilege with fresh farm picked corn, but when you buy it at the grocery store you never know how fresh it is…and a little sugar never hurts). The key is to barely boil the corn to keep it super crisp — a few minutes is all it takes.

Refresh the corn under cold water to stop the cooking process, then use a serrated knife to cut the kernels of the cobs.



Try to keep the chunks of corn intact — it looks pretty and shows that you used fresh corn.

Toss the corn with white wine vinegar, vegetable oil, scallions, salt and pepper.

Right before serving, toss in the fresh basil. Fresh, crisp, delicious!

Fresh Corn Salad with Scallions and Basil

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 5 ears of corn, shucked
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts, finely sliced
  • 3-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup finely sliced fresh basil leaves
  • Sugar, optional

Instructions

  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the corn for 3-4 minutes. Do not overcook. Drain and immerse it in very cold water to stop the cooking process. When the corn is cool, use a serrated knife to cut the kernels off the cob.
  2. Combine the kernels in a large bowl with the oil, vinegar, scallions, salt, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, toss in the fresh basil. Taste and adjust seasoning. If the salad tastes too tart, add a bit more oil; if it tastes bland, add a bit more vinegar or salt and pepper. A pinch of sugar also goes a long way if the corn isn't as sweet as you'd like. Serve the salad cold or at room temperature.

Reviews & Comments

  • 4 stars

    This sounds like a great salad. I do something similar, but I also add black beans, cherry tomatoes and feta cheese. People love it. I read the review of someone who said she has been cooking her corn for hours. I grew up in the Midwest and fresh corn literally only needs 3 or 4 minutes in a pot of boiling water. If it’s really, really fresh you don’t even need to cook it. Yummy!
    thanks for all of the good recipes, Jen and have a happy Labor Day.

    - Linda on August 30, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This salad explodes with freshness! I had to add some sugar, but I think it was because of the quality of my wine vinegar. I also tossed in some grape tomatoes – so good.

    - Stephanie on July 17, 2014 Reply
  • 3 stars

    Made this side to go with B-B-Q ribs. It may have been the corn itself but it fell a little short of expectation. I will try this again but may use the mix white shoe peg & yellow canned corn to see if that perks up the corn flavor.

    - Tomato57 on July 10, 2014 Reply
    • It’s important to use fresh corn for this recipe; you will get much better results! Hope that helps!

      - Jenn on July 11, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this on Monday, but boiled the corn the day before. This was simple, easy and delicious. I used fresh chives from my garden because I did not green onions and it was superb! I will bring this to my next summer potluck.

    - Eileen on July 9, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Wonderful, refreshing addition to a summer weekend meal of grilled spice-rubbed pork tenderloin and steamed asparagus. We added some chopped, seeded garden tomatoes for a punch of color on the plate. The dressing is subtle and so nicely brings out the flavors of the corn and fresh basil.

    - Liesel on July 7, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is a great way to have corn for a summer get-together without the mess of eating off the cob. I just made it this past weekend and it was a hit! I try to slice the scallions as thinly as possible since they can be a little over-powering. Delicious recipe!

    - Ponyo on July 6, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This salad is so fresh & light for summer! It was the perfect salad to serve with grilled salmon & home grown tomatoes.

    - Peggy on July 3, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    LOVE this salad. It is my go to summer potluck dish, and is always a favorite. Everyone always love the fresh, summery flavors. Have to be careful to not overdo the dressing, and let the corn and basil do the work.

    - Barb Harris on July 3, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is such a wonderful way to serve corn at a gathering! I like the fact that I can prepare it ahead of time. I’ve brought it to many a potluck picnic and the bowl always empties out! This is also great the next day.

    - Mimi on July 2, 2014 Reply
  • hi. i am living here in Saudi Arabia and unluckily, the white wine is not available in here. what could be the possible replacement or alternative? i love this salad a lot..thank you very much in advance..thank u a bunch for sharing all your wonderful recipes…

    - Lorrene on May 28, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Lorrene, Do you have access to cider vinegar? That would work well. If not, fresh lemon juice would also be a good substitute.

      - Jenn on May 28, 2014 Reply
      • thank u for the prompt reply. yes! a lot of nice branded cider vinegar and cheap lemon in here. thank u so much..till next mail..

        - Lorrene on May 29, 2014 Reply
  • An abundance of corn from the garden this summer allowed me to try lots of corn salad recipes. Also used fresh basil from the garden and substituted our garden grown sweet onions for the scallions! A hit that we served for one of our tomato sandwich, peach cobbler parties we host in the summer.

    - Janet lester on November 14, 2013 Reply
  • Love this salad. Easy way to use up leftover corn. Simple and delicious!

    - Rena on November 10, 2013 Reply
  • I love using fresh corn. I almost never use canned Veggies. Fresh basil sets this dish apart. I love this recipe!

    - Jennifer on November 5, 2013 Reply
  • Love this recipe! Have made it twice for BBQ dinner parties and it was a hit both times. So convenient that it can be made ahead of time, and so simple to toss all the ingredients together!

    - M on October 22, 2013 Reply
  • This salad is scrumptious. A friend made it for me last weekend. I bought corn at the farmer’s market this morning and made it for lunch. The corn was so fresh that I used it raw. It was amazing. The quintessential taste of summer.

    - Melissa on September 14, 2013 Reply
  • Hi Jenn, this is a delicious recipe & I get tons of compliments when I make it. I’ve referred many people to your website! I had some left over last month and wanted to try something different. So, I used this corn & basil salad in an omelette with diced red bell pepper & asiago cheese. It was YUMMY!!!!

    - Heather on September 9, 2013 Reply
    • That sounds delicious, Heather…and thank you so much for the referrals!

      - Jenn on September 9, 2013 Reply
  • Candi made this and it was delicious! I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I am making for the 4th of July. I am sure that everyone will LOVE it!

    - Melanie on July 3, 2013 Reply
  • Made this and served with Tequila Lime Chicken….delicious!

    - Elizabeth on May 5, 2013 Reply
  • New family favorite! Making today for the 2nd time!

    - Deb on April 20, 2013 Reply
  • I was looking for something different to do with veggies- this site had a bunch of ideas- so we started with this dish. not only was a delicious! the tip from one of the comments using the bundt pan was the best! worked great! why didnt someone share this idea with my mom years ago when we spent hours cutting during harvest time!

    - Elly on March 12, 2013 Reply
  • I made this dish a lot this summer, and I prefer a little less dressing to salad ratio, as it was a bit too sweet for me at first. Definitely will be making this again once corn is back in season!

    - MichelleH on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • I froze corn this summer, (cut off the ears) do you think i could thaw it and use it for this salad?

    - Nancy on November 15, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Nancy, You could try it but I don’t think the corn would be crisp, which is the nice thing about this salad.

      - Jenn on November 15, 2012 Reply
      • Thanks Jen, I might try it anyways, will let you know how it turns out if I do.

        - Nancy on November 15, 2012 Reply
  • This is so easy and delicious. I tried it without boiling the corn first-used fresh corn.

    - rachel on October 4, 2012 Reply
  • What a wonderful dish….made it for a pot-luck pool party and it was a hit. Was even asked for the recipe….gave the requester your website! I was wondering if this could be made with frozen corn (when the fresh corn season is over)?

    - Pat Rice on September 10, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Pat, So glad you enjoyed! You could definitely make this salad with frozen corn but it won’t have that same crisp texture. Hope that helps :)

      - Jenn on September 10, 2012 Reply
  • This corn salad sounds amazing!

    - katie on August 21, 2012 Reply
  • 20 people over for a barbeque might mean grill space is at too much of a premium, but one great and easy way to do corn is to just pull any loose bits of silk or husk off the end and throw the whole ear of corn on the grill husk and all! It steams itself inside the husk, and once it’s done you can just peel back the husk and silks and you have yourself a nice little handle to hold it with.

    - Nick on August 16, 2012 Reply
  • Here is a trick a learned from a friend. When you are cooking the corn, add some sprigs of mint to the water. You won’t believe the taste it gives the corn… unbelievable….

    - Jen on August 10, 2012 Reply
    • will definitely try this, jen. thank you!

      - Jenn on August 11, 2012 Reply
  • I made this twice…the first time I had all the ingredients except for the fresh basil leaves so I used cilantro…and it was delicious like a Tex-Mex salad. Then I bought fresh basil leaves and followed the recipe exactly and it was just as delicious!!!

    - Terri on June 25, 2012 Reply
  • Everyone needs to try this dish…especially when fresh corn on cob is available in the store or from your garden.

    - Linda on June 25, 2012 Reply
  • This one was a crowd pleaser. Used Basil from my herb garden and locally grown sweet Zellwood corn. Delicious.

    - Cheri Hartman on June 22, 2012 Reply
  • The fresh corn salad is a hit. It is a light and versatile side dish–great for picnics and pot lucks. Travels well. I have added other ingredients with great success, too, such as diced red pepper and/or grape tomatoes. Just increase the oil and vinegar slightly to accomodate any additions.

    - Janet Porterfield on June 21, 2012 Reply
  • A great way to have corn as your side dish at a barbecue without all the mess. I’ll definitely be trying this one.

    - Bonnie on June 21, 2012 Reply
  • I grow fresh basil and never thought of it w/corn…loved it….great recipie!

    - debbie on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • I added chopped red pepper and shredded chopped carrots for a colorful corn salad that was really tasty.

    - Sue on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • Will put this on my MUST TRY list when the produce stand down the street opens with FRESH corn!!

    - Krista Custer on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • my herbs from my garden will be great in this

    - kelly almasy on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • Made this last night with some grocery store corn on the cob….it was wonderful. Can’t wait to make with fresh local corn soon!!

    - Kathie on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • That sounds sssooooo good, and refreshing—I think I will be serving this with crab cakes and italian antipasto—mmmm mmmmm }:>)

    - dwana bull on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • It was very good. I did it a little bit different. I sauteed the onion and kernels of corn in a pan and added two small zucchini, chopped. When onion was softened, I then added the rest of the ingredients and covered with a lid to finish cooking. I let it cool, added salt and pepper and it was the hit of the dinner. Felt like summer!

    - Linda Crocker on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • This recipe sound delish and so easy. I am trying it for sure. Thanks!

    - Robyn Coffey on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • This looks delicious! I want to add black beans to it for some reason:)

    - Cath on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • haven’t made this yet. sounds delish!

    - wendy black on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • Scrumptious; did not make any changes.

    - Dorothy Ruffin on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • This is a delightful dish. I have made it twice now, once with crab cakes and once with salmon. Great summer dish.

    - Andrew on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • Haven’t made this yet, but planningon taking it to a picnic later this summer. Sounds so good and super easy!

    - Kelley c on June 19, 2012 Reply
    • This recipe sound yoummy think I will try it.

      - Susan on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • Made this over the weekend for Father’s Day cook out and it was a huge hit. Was told I should bottle and sell it!

    - Lynn on June 18, 2012 Reply
  • Made this yesterday for company as a side dish for baked lemon chicken. It was very good. I added a little sugar to the boiling water for the corn as suggested (2 T to 6 ears of corn). The final dish was delicious and did not require additional sugar. I will definitely make this again. Thanks for another simple healthy recipe. Love that I can make it ahead.

    - Danita on June 16, 2012 Reply
  • I learned a really neat tip for cutting fresh corn on the cobb. Place your corn cobb into the hole of a bundt or angel food cake pan. Wiggle it in so it stays. Cut the corn down the cobb. The pan catches all of your delicious corny goodness.

    - Tessa on June 3, 2012 Reply
    • Love this idea!

      - JJ on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • Recipe looks so good!
    I just learned something. I’ve been overcooking my corn! I sometimes cook it for hours. Really…all it needs is approx 7 min in boiling water? Why add the vinegar?

    - Elizabeth on June 2, 2012 Reply
    • Yes, a few minutes is all it takes, especially for a salad where you want the corn to be super crisp. For corn on the cob, I usually cook it about 10 min. The vinegar brightens up the flavor.

      - Jenn on June 2, 2012 Reply
  • I love summer corn, this would be nice for pot luck.

    - Liz on June 1, 2012 Reply
  • what a perfectly easy and light side dish!!! Love this one

    - leslie on June 1, 2012 Reply
  • Yes! I, too, would prefer to be sipping your amazing Sangria rather than standing over a hot stove! And with this delicious-looking corn recipe, I will be able to do just that. Thanks, Jenn! ;-))

    - Liz on May 31, 2012 Reply
  • I’m going to a party this coming Sunday and was trying to come up with something to take…this is perfect. Some of the people are vegetarians and some are vegans!!!

    - Sara on May 31, 2012 Reply
  • My Nana and I were looking at your recipe.It looks so pretty and delicious. we are going to try it at our next family gathering. Thanks for the great idea!

    - Emma Burgess on May 31, 2012 Reply
  • p.s. when you are making just regular corn on the cob do you add sugar to the water, as well? I’m just wondering if that’ s a trick to make it taste sweet.

    - Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on May 31, 2012 Reply
    • Yes, it works great!

      - Jenn on May 31, 2012 Reply
  • I love this alternative to just plain corn on the cob! Great idea to have a corn dish that can be made ahead of time…

    - Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on May 31, 2012 Reply
  • I will definitely make this. I have to say, I really cheat and microwave my corn. The salad looks delicious and is easier to eat in front of people than by gnawing on that cob!

    - Karen on May 31, 2012 Reply
  • ? How many does this serve?
    Looks delish, would love to make for an upcoming party!

    - Candi on May 31, 2012 Reply
    • Oops, thanks Candi. Serves 4!

      - Jenn on May 31, 2012 Reply
  • Sounds yummy! I never boil my corn. I bring a pot of water to a boil. When boiling add the corn. When it comes to a boil again, cover and take off the heat. Let sit 7-9 minutes. Voila…perfect corn!!!

    - barbara Wood on May 31, 2012 Reply
  • Sounds like a delicious and easy way for fresh corn! How are you growing your basil? Is it growing in water?

    - Donna Cowan on May 31, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Donna, That’s the hydroponic basil (the small plant in a bag) they sometimes sell at the grocery store. When you bring it home, place it in a vase of water — as long as you replenish the water, it lasts forever.

      - Jenn on May 31, 2012 Reply
    • I make something similar, except I also add a little chopped tomato, garlic and I use apple cider vinegar. I serve this with grilled Italian sausage! YUM!

      - Edgar on May 31, 2012 Reply
      • That sounds really good, Edgar!

        - Jenn on May 31, 2012 Reply

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