Charred Corn Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

August 18, 2018

My Summer Salad Staple

My mom makes a version of this salad every summer – all summer long. Every summer I think about how sweet the locally grown corn on the cob is in my hometown. My mom almost always tosses in fresh basil leaves to her corn salads, but I like to put the herb into a vibrant green vinaigrette that gets even better the longer it sits. This salad definitely becomes more flavorful over time, so I like to make it a few hours in advance before serving – making it the perfect salad option for a summer picnic or barbecue.

Using up Leftover Corn on the Cob

This salad is perfect for using up any cooked ears of corn on the cob you may have leftover from a weekend dinner. Simply skip the step where you char the corn on the grill and instead cut the kernels off the precooked cobs.

The perfect summer vinaigrette

This Basil Vinaigrette should win awards for just how delicious (and easy!) it is. It’s one I make over and over again. Something about the apple cider base pairs so well with the fresh basil with just a hint of fresh garlic. It tends to be quite tangy, but I like it that way as I feel that the corn absorbs more of the flavor that way, but you could always increase the olive oil if you like. I like this vinaigrette so much I actually just made it to top grilled chicken with the other day! Super versatile and super tasty!

Don’t forget about the tomatoes

It seems that the two ingredients I look forward to using most in August are corn and garden tomatoes. This is their time to shine and this is the perfect salad to showcase this beautiful ingredient. I love the pop of color they add to this corn salad, not to mention their juicy flavor as well!

Have I convinced you this one is worth making?? I’m obsessed with it. Tell me, what is the one summer salad that you make over and over again?

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Charred Corn Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

  • Author: Kelsey Nixon
  • Yield: 68 servings 1x


I’m declaring this the PERFECT end-of-summer salad. My Charred Corn Salad with Basil Vinaigrette makes the most of sweet summer corn and basil. I like to toss in a few cherry tomatoes as well.


  • 6 ears fresh corn on the cob, shucked
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (10-ounce) container small heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ small red onion, cut into small dice


Preheat a grill pan over high heat.

Brush or rub each cob with some canola oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the corn on the hot grill and char each side, 2 to 3 minutes per side. You want the corn to get great char marks! Once the corn has charred, set aside until cool enough to handle. Once the corn has cooled, stand each ear up, stalk-end down in a wide, shallow bowl and, using your knife, slice the corn kernels off the cob.

Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. In a food processor, add the basil and garlic and pulse until the basil starts to break down. Add the vinegar. Continue pulsing while adding the oil in a steady stream and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the corn, tomatoes and red onion. Drizzle the basil vinaigrette over the salad and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

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