Summer Corn Salad

corn & basil salad

The ultimate summer side dish

Nothing tastes or looks more like summer in a bowl than this corn salad recipe! In one, simple side dish, the best of local summer produce is represented – bright yellow corn, seasonally ripe red tomatoes, and vivid green basil leaves. It can be served alongside anything from barbecue ribs to hamburgers or even fish- it’s a winning recipe. And better yet, it can be made ahead of time.

Corn salad is a “Go-to” recipe

Corn salad is one of my “go-to” side dishes, not only when I am hosting a summer gathering, but also when I am invited to attend somewhere and don’t want to show up empty handed. I call it a “go-to” dish because it checks all the boxes I am looking for in a great recipe- it tastes great, looks beautiful and can be made in advance. As a bonus, it doubles well, can served at room temperature, making this the ultimate summer side dish.

Corn & Basil Salad
Few things represent summer more than fresh corn and basil

Recipe Summary

  • Blanch the corn then slice off the cob.
  • Toss with sliced grape tomatoes
  • Make a vinaigrette with apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt & pepper
  • Mix in vinaigrette and julienned basil leaves

I was honored when this recipe was chosen to be featured in Greenwich Lifestyle magazine!

Make it ahead

  1. Cook, prep & refrigerate the corn.
  2. In a separate container, make the dressing, omitting the basil, and refrigerate.
  3. About a half hour before serving the corn salad, dress the corn, being careful not to overdress (you will likely have extra dressing).
  4. Right before serving, add the basil so it stays crisp and retains its color. Serve!

How to buy Corn on the Cob

When buying corn on the cob, look for the freshest cobs possible. Look for the husk to be bright green and wrapped tightly again the corn. Cobs should feel heavy for their size which indicates it was picked recently and is fresh. The older a cob is, the lighter it will feel because it has lost all its moisture.

Avoid cobs with dry and dull husks, a slimy or mushy texture, discolored or missing kernels.

How to store Corn

You should use the corn as soon as possible after buying it. If you need to store it, keep the corn in their husks to prevent them from drying out. Store them loosely in plastic bags in the refrigerator and use as soon as you can.

Helpful recipe tips:

  • Use fresh corn on the cob
  • Corn does not take as long as you think to cook. 3-5 minutes, at most, will do the trick.
  • This dish is meant to be rustic so don’t worry if the kernels come off the cob in different sizes or independently.
  • Lay out a clean tea towel and slice the corn onto it. This catches all the flying kernels and makes it easy to transfer the corn into a bowl.
  • This recipe double well
corn salad

Corn & Basil Salad

Corn and grape tomatoes are tossed with an apple cider vinaigrette and finished with lots of fresh basil – the perfect summer side dish. 
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 5


  • 5 ears of corn shucked clean
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup julienned fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes (optional)


  • In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the corn for 3 minutes until the starchiness is just gone. Drain and immerse it in ice water to stop the cooking and to set the color. When the corn is cool, cut the kernels off the cob, cutting close to the cob.
  • Mix together in small bowl vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Gently combine kernels (and tomatoes, if using) with the vinaigrette.
  • Just before serving, toss in the fresh basil. Taste for seasonings and serve cold or at room temperature.

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