A winning combination of ingredients for this chopped salad is salmon, corn and cherry tomatoes. Photo by Christine Willmsen
Seattle’s smoked salmon, grilled corn and fresh garden ingredients make this salad a full dinner
It’s sweet corn time. As a girl who grew up in Iowa, we always bought sweet corn from a pickup truck on the side of the road after the farmers had picked the corn that morning. So it’s only natural that I find myself buying numerous ears of corn in July and wanting to create different recipes in addition to just putting them on the grill.
I’ll never forget a surprise gift from my dad several years ago when he was visiting Seattle. When he arrived he opened an extra piece of luggage and about two dozen corn picked that day from an Iowa farm spilled out of the bag. My heart was warmed by my dad’s sincerity and we ate plump, juicy corn for days. With sweet corn being grown throughout the U.S., almost anyone can get fresh corn from their farmers market or produce store.
Quick grilling tips for corn
Pull back husks of corn and remove any hairs, then season with salt, cumin and chili powder. Photo by Christine Willmsen
Grill corn for 8-10 minutes in the husks to keep them moist. Photo by Christine Willmsen
To successfully grill corn, prep and season it. That means you need to pull the husks back, remove all the silk (fine hairs) and spice it up by rubbing a mixture of salt, chili powder and cumin.
Try your own spice combination. Rewrap the husks around the corn and grill for 8-10 minutes on medium-high heat. I always poke the corn with my fingernail and if it pierces the soft kernel and the juices explode then it’s time to pull it from the grill.
While I may eat an ear or two for dinner, I’ll grill another one so that I can use it for a salad the next day. I’ve created this recipe that combines Seattle’s finest smoked or cooked salmon with garden ingredients that are ripe right now including arugula and cherry tomatoes. This is a hearty salad that’s perfect for one person for dinner. To see The Solo Cook assemble the salad, watch King 5’s New Day Northwest show. The recipe below is inspired by the restaurant Cowboy Ciao in Scottsdale, Arizona, where I had a memorable salad. I know once you try my salad you will be hooked on cooking extra ears of corn for this chopped salad.
Hot in the Kitchen: Corn and Salmon Salad Recipe
Cut all your ingredients and line them up to place them on your plate, then drizzle dressing on top. Photo by Christine Willmsen
1/2 cup of corn or kernels from 1 grilled corn cob
1/2 cup chopped arugula
1/4 cup diced cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped smoked salmon or cooked salmon
1/8 cup slivers asiago cheese
3 tablespoons pepitas
1/4 cup cooked pearl or Israeli couscous
Pesto Buttermilk Dressing:
Gently stir pesto buttermilk dressing in with the salad ingredients. Photo by Christine Willmsen
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup pesto (store bought if easier)
Half of shallot chopped
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 lemon squeezed for juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine mayonnaise, pesto, shallots and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into food processor and blend thoroughly. As food processor continues to run, add buttermilk, remaining lemon juice and salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To prepare salad for presentation: place each ingredient in a line such as 1/4 cup arugula, 1/4 cup corn, tomatoes, asiago, salmon, pepitas, couscous, 1/4 cup corn and 1/4 cup arugula. Drizzle dressing on top of the ingredients. When ready to serve, lightly fold dressing into the ingredients. Leftover dressing can be stored for several days. Use the remaining dressing as a dip for fresh cut vegetables.