Summer Salad with Grilled Corn, Tomato, Zucchini

 I find myself wanting salads for supper. They’re easy to throw together; they’re chock full of good-for-you veggies, and they taste good. More importantly even, these summer salads I’ve been creating take full advantage of the bounty of fresh and tasty produce in summer. Who doesn’t love fresh from the garden, Farmers Market, or even grocery store, tomatoes in summer? And zucchini? It’s plentiful, just ask any friend who is growing it, it’s cheap right now, and a totally adaptable vegetable, good grilled, baked, and raw. And corn, corn is a summer treat. Like watermelon, I wait all year for these summer months to eat corn and fresh tomatoes. I added cucumber for the refreshing taste and the crunch, plus I’ve been getting great big ones these days at the market. They’re straight from a garden. The thing about this salad is it’s basically a kitchen sink dish – it’s got (almost) everything but the kitchen sink. It’s hearty, high in fiber, protein, and good fat. Full of anti-inflammatory herbs, vegetables, fruit, and legumes, it’s ageless, and it’s delicious. 

I threw this Corn Salad together because  I needed to feed four hungry (slightly buzzed) adults quickly. We were having drinks at noisy restaurant, and suddenly all of us were famished. Starving. We didn’t want to stay there, so I invited everyone to my place, not sure what we’d find. I knew I had a few tomatoes from the garden and big bunch of basil, and I had grilled zucchini and corn earlier, thinking I’d use it for a luncheon. One guy friend suggested we stop and buy some protein – a big steak or something carnivorous like that. But, we didn’t need it. I threw in chickpeas and edamame for texture, and to make it more substantial. Plus, there’s your protein fix. And, guess what? Everyone was totally happy – and satiated. I know you will be too. This salad is perfect for Meatless Mondays or really any night. I also had enough left over for my lunch the next day. Win/win.

Summer Salad with Corn, Tomato, Zucchini
Serves 4
A big salad that's great on its own or as part of a bigger meal. Use whatever fresh, cooked, and grilled veggies you have on had, throw in some fresh herbs, and a zesty dressing and you'll have dinner ready in no time.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  2. Juice from 1 lemon
  3. 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  4. Sea salt, to taste
  5. 1 teaspoon of Spanish smoked paprika or chili powder
  6. Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  7. 4 ears of corn, husked, grilled or blanched
  8. 4 medium-sized zucchini, halved lengthwise, and grilled or baked, cut into 1-inch pieces
  9. 3 medium to big-sized tomatoes, chopped
  10. 1 cup of fresh basil, finely chopped
  11. 1 big cucumbers, peeled and diced
  12. 1 avocado, chopped in chunks
  13. 5-6 leaves of Romaine lettuce, shredded
  14. 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  15. 1/2 cup of edamame, blanched and drained
  16. 4 oz. goat cheese, chévre or feta (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl whisk together 1/4 cup olive oil and the juice from 1 lemon, and 1/2 teaspoon of cumin.
  2. Heat grill to medium-high. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and brush the zucchini with oil, sea salt, and, if you have it, a dusting of paprika. Grill until tender, 5 to 7 minutes per side.
  3. Once cool enough to handle, cut the zucchini into 1-inch pieces and toss in the large bowl with the dressing.
  4. Place the ears of corn on the grill, turning frequently, until corn is cooked and heated through, 10-12 minutes. Remove from grill; when cool enough to handle, cut kernels from cobs and transfer to the bowl.
  5. Blanch the edamame and drain the the water (about 2 minutes).
  6. Add the chickpeas and edamame to the bowl, gently stir till both are coated with the dressing.
  7. Cut the avocado into bite-sized chunks and add to the dressing, gently tossing till the dressing coats the chunks.
  8. Peel and thinly slice the cucumber and to the bowl.
  9. Dice the tomatoes, finely chop the basil, add to the bowl.
  10. Chop up 5 big leaves of Romaine lettuce, toss in the bowl.
  11. Once the lettuce is added, toss the whole salad, making sure every vegetable is coated with the dressing. And, if you want, add about 4 ounces of goat cheese, breaking into pieces, and gently combining in the salad. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
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