Corn take on a sweet and delicate personality when eaten raw or lightly steamed, or it can hit the grill and get a little smoky char to become the bold hero of the table. And once it has been charred and blistered a bit, corn can hold up to the heat of fresh chilies and other big flavours.

One of my favourite ways to make corn salad is to blister the kernels on the grill, then toss them with onions, heirloom tomatoes and jalapenos. The result is a classic summer platter of tomatoes and onions mixed with spicy chilies and char-grilled corn tossed with a tangy red wine vinaigrette.

Corn Salad RecipeGrilling fresh corn until the kernels are blistered and the natural sugars are caramelized makes this salad burst with flavour. This little bit of effort makes all the difference in this colorful summer recipe.

Start to finish: 30 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients:

1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2/3 cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
Kosher salt and ground pepper
8 ears of corn
1/2 cup diced Spanish onion
1/2 cup finely chopped scallions (about 1 bunch)
1/2 cup minced jalapeno peppers
1 cup chopped heirloom tomatoes or quartered cherry tomatoes
1 to 2 tablespoons mixed minced fresh herbs, such as chives, basil, cilantro and parsley

Heat the grill to medium-high.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar and mustard. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the 2/3 cup of oil until the mixture is smooth and emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Husk the ears of corn, then brush them all over with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Set the ears directly over the heat on the grill and cook, turning occasionally, until all sides are blistered and lightly charred, 15 to 20 minutes. Set the corn aside until cool enough to be easily handled.

Cut the kernels from the ears of corn. To do this, one at a time cut each ear in half across the centre. Stand each piece on its wide, cut end and use a very sharp knife to cut down the length of the cob, cutting just deep enough to remove the kernels. Rotate and continue cutting until all of the kernels have been removed.

In a large bowl, toss the warm corn kernels with the vinaigrette. Add the remaining ingredients, mix well, then set aside to cool to room temperature. Before serving, taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed.

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Corn take on a sweet and delicate personality when eaten raw or lightly steamed, or it can hit the grill and get a little smoky char to become the bold hero of the table. And once it has been charred and blistered a bit, corn can hold up to...