Caprese Corn Salad

If salads could talk, this corn, tomato, basil, Mozzarella salad would yell, “SUMMER!” It’s what happens when you have a ton of grilled corn leftover from last weekend’s barbecue, and ripe tomatoes in the garden beckoning, “eat me…” Not to mention the one basil plant that just keeps growing like a hydra. Snip one stem off and two grow in its place! It’s a classic caprese salad with tomato, basil, and Mozz, tossed with grilled corn.

We got the idea from this recipe on the Food Network. They use fresh, raw corn for their salad. I love the taste of grilled corn, so we used that instead. I’ve seen similar recipes that boil the corn first. Your preference. If you use raw corn, get the freshest corn you can.

Caprese Corn Salad Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8.

Many recipes I've found online for corn and tomato salad just use raw corn, freshly shucked and the kernels scraped off. I prefer it with grilled corn, but if you have particularly fresh corn that tastes great raw, feel free to use it here. Neither tomatoes nor basil do well refrigerated, so this salad is best made fresh and eaten immediately.

Ingredients

  • 5 to 6 ears of sweet corn (still in husks, do not shuck)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 3 cups roughly chopped, seeded tomatoes, or halved cherry or sun gold tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup sliced scallions, including light green parts
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup of fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

Method

1 Prepare your grill for high, direct heat. Place the corn cobs still in their husks directly on the grill. Cook for 15 minutes or so, turning every few minutes, so that the husks get completely charred. The corn will steam in the husks. There is no need to soak the corn in water first if the corn is fresh. If you want some char on the corn itself, remove a few of the outer corn husks first, so there is less of a protective layer around the corn. Once the husks are completely charred, remove from the grill and let cool for a few minutes. Then remove the husks and silk. To remove the corn from the cob, stand the shucked cob upright in shallow baking pan or rimmed dish. Hold the cob steady in one hand, and with the other hand use a sharp knife to make downward strokes on the cob, separating the kernels from the cob.

Alternatively, if you have frozen corn kernels, you can use them for this salad (4 cups). Just heat a large cast iron pan on medium high to high heat. Put a layer of frozen corn directly on the pan, do not defrost first. Once the corn has browned on one side, stir and let the corn brown some more. Then remove to cool.

2 In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Adding sugar will depend on how sweet your corn or tomatoes are, so you may want to withhold sugar until the end and add to taste.

3 In a large bowl, toss together the corn, tomatoes, scallions, Mozzarella, and the dressing. Adjust seasonings to taste. Let sit for 10 minutes.

4 Right before serving, stir in the freshly sliced basil.

17 Comments

  1. Sara Jane

    Yum! We make a very similar salad. I’d definitely cook the corn unless you literally just picked it from your backyard ;) Our salad calls for apple cider vinegar and feta cheese. So good, the basil is what makes it!

  2. Jack

    Interesting how many times you post what we are eating! We had this the night before you posted it! We live close to Sacramento so what is in season is the same. The corn was, You guessed it, left over grilled in the husk corn from Slough House. Try it on toasted garlic bread and some Point Reyes blue cheese! (We went to get oysters last weekend)

  3. Alena

    Leftover grilled corn, sharp tasting olives (like kalamata) and haloumi with drizzled olive oil and chopped basil on toasted baguette is one of the best sandwiches you will ever eat. If you can’t find haloumi, queso fresco or good quality ricotta are good substitutes.

    Sounds fabulous Alena, thank you! ~Elise

  4. Mary

    This looks good! I make a salad very similar but I add canned tuna (Italian brand if you can fine it) packed in olive oil and baby greens.

  5. Nancy

    This is one of the best corn/tomato salads I have made. I followed the recipe exactly. Using the sherry vinegar made a wonderful difference. Thank you!

  6. Stace

    This salad is wonderful, it does indeed yell Summer! I loved having an outlet for all of my summer favorites combined in a new way.

    I made it precisely as written (except scallions are rarer than hen’s teeth in Maine, green onion it is!). I know there is some controversy, but in my opinion, Elise’s method is the best for cooking corn bar none.

    My market didn’t have sherry vinegar which I wanted to try, but an aged white wine vinegar was surprisingly complex.

    Since I was warned against refrigeration, I delivered a big bowl to my neighbor. He texted me later two words: Ridiculously delicious.

  7. ajmitolo

    i made the salad last night for my son’s cross country team dinner. substituted edamame for scallions. so yummy!!! it’s a keeper and my son loved it!

  8. Teresa Henrikson

    Made this salad tonight using tomatoes, basil and scallions from our garden. Absolutely delicious. Lovely presentation. Will make this again and again. Thank you Elise for sharing your wonderful blog and recipes with us all.

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