Sweet Dill Corn Salad

It feels odd to be writing about fresh, snappy corn-on-the-cob in a week when the thermometer began at 99°F on Saturday (ironically, the hottest day of the year — in September) and then plummeted to the 60’s, where it’s lingered ever since, drizzly and gray. Today, I had a grilled cheese sandwich and hot soup for lunch, and man, it was the warm hug I really needed.

But. There is still much summer vegetable harvesting to be done. Despite the chill, plants are thriving and producing, finally regrouping from the relentless heat of August to send out a second bounty. And there’s corn (technically not a vegetable, but a grain). Silver Queen and Bi-Colored ears dominate the stands of farmers’ markets all over town.

In between freezing extra corn for the winter, I’ve made salads (like this) and soup (a sweet corn chowder coming soon to a SoupAddict blog near you) and salsas and tomato and corn pies. It’s been lovely.

And SoupAddict has been adding to her learnin’ in the process. Did you know that it’s totally okay to eat raw corn? It never occurred to me before to even try it like that. And sure enough, it’s sweet and crisp and crunchy — juicy, even. No, I’m not trying to trick you into a raw diet. You can honest-to-goodness eat corn raw. Amazing!

This marvelously herbed recipe comes from Food52.com, the winning entrant in a raw dish contest (and folks, it’s something to have one’s recipe chosen by Amanda Hesser — congrats to winner creamtea!). So, if you’re suspicious of SoupAddict’s judgment in using raw corn in this recipe, trust Amanda instead.

Sweet Dill Corn Salad

adapted from Food52.com

Serves 6 as a side dish.

For the salad:
1 shallot, finely chopped
3 ears of fresh, uncooked corn, the kernels removed from the cobs with a sharp knife (about 2 3/4 cup)
2 cucumbers, seeded and diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 handful fresh dill (about 4 smallish sprigs), minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
crumbled Feta cheese, rinsed, as a garnish

For the dressing:

1/4 cup buttermilk
2/3 cups greek yogurt
1 tablespoon white wine or champagne vinegar
3 tablespoons minced Vidalia or other sweet onion
1 small clove garlic, minced and mashed with a pinch of salt
2 teaspoons fresh dill, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

In a large bowl toss the corn kernels lightly to separate them, add the shallot and the remaining salad ingredients, tossing again to combine.

In a smaller bowl combine the buttermilk, yogurt, vinegar, onion, garlic, and dill, whisking to combine. Add the oil in a slow stream, whisking, until completely blended. Season with freshly ground pepper and salt to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Just before serving, toss the salad with dressing, adding a little bit at a time, until all ingredients are uniformly coated with dressing, but not soaking into. Garnish with feta cheese. Serve the remaining dressing on the side.

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  1. Jodi Hayward says:

    mmmm, this looks delicious, probably good with goats cheese too! If I’m really lazy, I might use some cans of super sweet corn *ducks head in shame :S* hehe Perth isn’t in the corn belt, we’re more known for wheat :)

    • It would be fantastic with goat cheese! No shame about the corn. I’ve made this dish so frequently this summer, I’ve used lots of different corn, including grilled on the cob and frozen. The dressing just brings it all together whatever you’ve used.

  2. I have learned this summer that raw corn is a friend. Who knew?

    How do you get so much of the kernel off the cob? Somehow, mine always seem to look like “headless horsemen” with just the little knobbies on top making it.

    • Maybe it’s the cutting technique? Leave enough of a stalky handle to hold on to when you husk. Stand the ear up in the center of a large bowl and, using a nice sharp knife, let the blade dig a bit into the corn near the “handle” and slice from the top down into the bowl. Twist the ear and repeat.

      Your results, however, are halfway to “creamed corn” – way delicious (another falsehood I held as a young adult, believing creamed corn had cream in it, which, to my 20-year-old taste buds, sounded really gross). After removing the kernels the way you did, go back and use the edge of the blade (or, to be safe, another long, flat tool … an example is escaping me at the moment … maybe a flat-handled spatula or a dull dinner knife) and drag the edge firmly down over those cut areas. You’ll be coaxing out all the creamy insides of the kernel bits left behind. Good stuff!

  3. I love the addition of dill to this! I believe that dill is unappreciated and treated poorly by most cooks….

    I can’t wait to try this!!

    • Dill is without a doubt my favorite herb. The first time I made dill pesto, I thought I had reached some kind of culinary pinnacle. (In fact … that reminds me … I’ve been making basil pesto to freeze, but must remember to make dill as well.) One of the alterations I made to the original recipe was to add dill to the dressing, as well as the salad. Dill + Corn = BFFs.

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