Rainbow Corn Salad is a dream for your summer entertaining. It contains the beautiful produce abundant right now and puts it together in an easy-to-make and delicious salad everyone loves!
You wait all winter for that first time you smell summer in the air. Knowing that the earth is ready for the returning warmth, the blooming of trees and flowers, vegetables springing from the soil, and no more school! Summer mornings are special, a gift.
During summertime the farmers markets are full to the brim with freshly picked, delectable fruits and vegetables. In our area, the tomatoes and corn are at their peak and I couldn’t be happier. I wait all year for this wonderful season and its bounty. With Hoosier parents, I ate a ton of corn in my life, and it is still my favorite.
Now that heirloom tomatoes are making a strong comeback, thanks to the efforts of conscientious farmers, they are giving corn some serious competition in summer produce.
A few years ago, I finally understood what my parents had been talking about when they used to talk of the tomatoes they grew up with. I had only had hothouse tomatoes before and never cared for them. Then I had my first bite of an heirloom tomato. It was unlike anything I had ever eaten and I was in love.
Today’s salad is a celebration of everything summer has to offer. Full of the freshest vegetables you can find, it is the perfect side dish to any grilled meats, poultry, or seafood. My favorite additions to the corn and tomatoes are onions, bell peppers, and zucchini, but you can add anything you like. I also like Poblano or Anaheim peppers which add tremendous flavor and a hint of heat. Go to the market and buy the best and freshest vegetables you can find and toss them into this salad. Eating seasonal produce is getting the best at its best.
While this salad is most delicious during the summer, you can make it all year long by using frozen corn. Frozen vegetables are harvested at their peak and flash frozen, sealing in their flavor and freshness. They are the next best thing to eating freshly picked vegetables.
If you want this to be a vegetarian or vegan main course, you can add cooked beans, lentils, quinoa, or tofu, all are great sources of protein. Serve it with thick slices of freshly baked bread for a filling and healthy meal.
I served this for The Artist’s birthday and it was a big hit. Everyone went back for seconds – always a good sign!
Because it can be served at room temperature (or warm) this Rainbow Corn Salad is perfect for picnics, potlucks, family dinners, and barbecues. For an extra kick of flavor, you can grill the corn instead of boiling it, adding a nice smoky essence.
Enjoy this bright taste of summer all year long.
Did you enjoy this recipe? Let me know in the comments, I love hearing from you!
Ingredients needed for Rainbow Corn Salad:
- Corn on the cob, olive oil, shallot, red onion, red bell pepper
- Garlic, zucchini, balsamic vinegar, tomatoes, scallions
- Cilantro, thyme, or basil, salt and pepper
Most people overcook corn on the cob. It only needs a few minutes to barely take the rawness out of it. When you cook corn too long it becomes tough and starchy. The kernels should still pop in your mouth with each bite. Use salted water to enhance the flavor of the corn and only cook it for about 3 minutes. When serving for a meal, this should be the last thing you cook just before everyone sits down at the table.
How to make Rainbow Corn Salad:
- Cook corn on the cob in a large pot of salted water for 3 minutes; transfer to a cutting board and cool until you can comfortably hold the ears in your hand as you cut the kernels off, discard the cobs
- Heat the oil in a large skillet until shimmering, then add the shallots, onions, bel peppers, and garlic and cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often; add zucchini and cook another 2 minutes
- Add in the corn kernels and cooked until warmed through; add the vinegar and cook until mostly evaporated, then add the tomatoes and cook another minute, then remove from the heat
- Stir in the scallions and cilantro or parsley, tossing well; transfer to a baking sheet to cool and season with salt and pepper to taste
- Can be made a day ahead, covered and chilled; serve warm or at room temperature
There is a way to easily and safely cut the kernels off of corn on the cob, but you must use a very sharp knife so you don’t have to exert a lot of pressure. I break each cooked ear of corn in half. This way you have a stable flat surface to set on the cutting board. Corn is surprisingly easy to break in half, especially once cooked. If the kernels is bouncing around your kitchen, you can always cut the corn on a clean kitchen towel which will capture most of the kernels.
Recommended Tools (affiliate links; no extra cost to you):
- Chef’s knife
- Paring knife
- Cutting board
- Mixing bowls
- Large stockpot or Dutch oven
- Large skillet
- Baking sheet
All the ingredients in this recipe are naturally gluten-free. Be sure to use balsamic vinegar and NOT malt vinegar which does contain gluten!
- 6 ears fresh corn, shucked
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
- 1 shallot, peeled and finely minced
- 1 medium red onion, finely minced
- 2 small red bell peppers, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 small zucchini, washed and finely chopped
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 lb tomatoes, chopped finely
- Chopped cilantro leaves, thyme, or basil
- Sliced green onions
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Bring a large stockpot of well-salted water to a boil. Cook ears of corn for about 3 minutes, spinning to make sure all sides are submerged equally. Using tongs, remove the corn from the water and set aside to cool slightly. Cut corn kernels from ears, discarding cobs. See Note below for the best and safest way to cut the kernels off the cobs.
- Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Add shallots, onions, bell peppers, and garlic and cook for about 4 minutes until onions are translucent, stirring often. Add zucchini and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the corn kernels and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes.
- Add the vinegar and cook until it is mostly evaporated, about 1 minute. Add 1 more tablespoon of oil if needed. Remove pan from the heat.
- Stir in the tomatoes, scallions, and cilantro, tossing well. Transfer vegetables to a baking sheet to cool and season with salt and pepper. When cooled transfer to a serving bowl or storage container. Salad can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Serve warm or at room temperature. Sprinkle tops with more green onions if desired.
Recipe found at www.theheritagecook.com
This recipe is naturally gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan, great for anyone at your gatherings!
There is a way to easily and safely cut the kernels off of corn on the cob, but you must use a very sharp knife so you don’t have to exert a lot of pressure. I break each cooked ear of corn in half. This way you have a stable flat surface to set on the cutting board. Corn is surprisingly easy to break in half, especially once cooked. If the kernels are bouncing around your kitchen, you can always cut the corn on a clean kitchen towel which will capture most of the kernels.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 111Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 36mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 3g
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is calculated by online tools and is merely an estimate.
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