Arugula Corn Salad with Bacon

Peppery corn salad with freshly cooked corn, arugula, bacon, green onions, and cumin.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 4 large ears of corn
  • 2 cups of chopped arugula (about one bunch)
  • 4 strips of bacon, cooked, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1 Cook the corn: Cook the corn ears, in their husks, either on the grill for a smoky flavor, or by steaming in a large covered stock pot with an inch of boiling water at the bottom of the pot, for 12-15 minutes, or by cooking in a microwave.

Let the corn cool (can run under cold water to speed up the cooling), remove the husks and silk.

I recommend cooking the corn in the husks for the added flavor that the husks impart. If you boil or steam the corn ears after you've already husked them, or if you cook them in the microwave, reduce the cooking time by a few minutes.

2 Remove the corn kernels from the cobs: To remove the kernels from the cobs, stand a corn cob vertically with the tip on a small bowl that is inverted inside a larger, shallow bowl.

Use a sharp knife to make long, downward strokes, removing the kernels from the cob, as you work your way around the cob.

Note: it may help to work over a low table, to be in a better ergonomic position to cut the cobs this way.

cutting corn off the cob for corn salad

3 Make the dressing: In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, and cumin.

4 Assemble the salad: In a medium sized bowl, mix together the corn, chopped arugula, bacon, and onions.

Mix dressing into salad just before serving. Taste and add more vinegar if necessary to balance the sweetness of the corn.

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  • Krystle

    This recipe hasn’t had a comment since 2008! Poor recipe – I was happy to give it some attention! I made this the other day and it tasted really good! It has a really intersting array of flavors, and the bacon was great with the corn! Thanks!


  • Lauren

    HI Elise,

    I’m a frequent reader of your site, but a first time poster. This recipe brought me out of my shell so to speak. So simple, so fresh, so good.
    No excuse not to tell you that I’ve already made it three times (had to get my fill before summer ended), and it was just delicious.

    Thank you!


  • Connie

    Great tip Victoria, thanks! I made this salad tonight and it turned out great. I am always looking for new salad recipes as I serve one with each meal and we have grown bored with the basic baby greens salad. Thank you for a unique side salad that my family enjoyed!

  • Victoria

    To remove the corn kernels from the cob, place the cob in the hole of a bundt pan (if you have one) and knife them off. The kernels will drop into the pan, eliminating mess and stress.

  • Rhonda

    I made this last night and we thought it was good, but not great. However, I was using baby arugula so didn’t think I needed to chop it (as is called for in the recipe). This was a mistake which probably led to us not being head over heals in love with the recipe. The arugula had a hard time mixing with everything.

    Overall, the flavors were good. Definitely remember to chop your arugula when you make this!

  • Danabee

    Wonderful recipe, Elise, thank you. Keep ’em coming.
    Tonight I was late getting dinner together and no time to steam nor grill the corn. I drained the fat out of the pan after cooking the bacon then quick-sauteed the corn in the bacon fat that coated the pan. Voila! instant smoky flavored corn.
    P.S. If you stand your ears in a tall, narrow bowl while you cut the kernels off the ears you will minimize your “kernel flinging”. I found a good bowl at Target. Our border collie gets the dozen or so that hit the floor. It only seems fair.


  • Elise Bauer

    Hi Lauren – I’m so glad you liked it! I like the combination of flavors as well. It’s a great end-of-summer salad when the corn is just still available and the arugula is beginning to come in.

  • Erin

    Thanks for responding (and in time for the party today). Just waiting for the grilled corn to cool as we speak before I mix everything up EXCEPT for the arugula. Thanks, again!

  • Elise Bauer

    Hi Erin – I would wait to mix in the arugula with the rest of the ingredients until just before serving. Either that or wait on the dressing. Basically, once you dress the arugula, it will wilt. It’s still good, just wilted. I had the leftovers of this salad 2 days later and they were great, but didn’t look as pretty.

  • Erin

    I made this and loved it! I’m bringing it to a party tomorrow–can I make ahead and keep cold or will that impact the taste negatively?

  • Lin Hanson

    A corn cooking trick we use all the time, and I don’t know why more people don’t do it: Microwave corn in the husk. 3 or 3 ½ minutes per ear – in a glass dish & covered with plastic wrap. Once it’s cooked (with all the flavor of cooking in the husk) it’s a cinch to clean, removing husk, silk, etc. Corn stays hot longer than boiled because its heated from the cob out. Try it.

  • vanessa

    Mmm. Made this salad for lunch. I’ve got corn coming out of my ears. I’ve decided that corn plays well with others. Over the weekend, we added grilled kernels to a saute of lobster mushrooms and onions with chives.

  • Zelda

    I make this exact salad but with avocado added. Something about having the smooth, creamy avocado really makes it just perfect :)

  • nicole

    This looks incredible! Would frozen corn from Trader Joe’s work in a pinch?

  • Josh Baugher

    home cook, I think it’s easier to remove husks and silk after cooking, so I always prefer to soak/grill corn vs. boiling shucked ears.

    Elise, I recently read that a better technique for removing kernels is to first cut the ear in half, then use the vertical technique that you mentioned. I know that I often have kernels flying all over the place and am looking forward to trying the half-ear method.

  • jennbec

    I just bought a bag of organic arugla and several ears of sweet corn at the farmers market this weekend. I’m going to try the recipe tonight with vegetarian bacon though and see how that works…probably not quite as good but healthier. I might also try dicing up a couple grilled tomatillos to toss in for a little extra tang since I like that flavor senseation the most. Thanks for the great idea!