Summertime Charred Corn Salsa

I always get so excited when summer rolls around. Each year I eagerly await all the produce goodies to be found: juicy peaches, beautiful berries, bright red tomatoes and — my all time favorite — sweet corn!  The second I see bushels of corn I’m immediately transported into "summer barbecue mode," and I start dreaming of ears and ears of corn – sweet, crisp and so delicious with just a touch of butter. It’s one of my all time favorite summer side dishes.

Usually I’m content with just the regular ol' steamed corn on the cob. Not too much else is needed to make it shine. But last year, I was lucky enough to try grilled corn. Oh my…that regular ol' cob just got bumped up a few notches! When you grill sweet corn (and it only takes a few minutes), the sugars begin to caramelize and the kernels char ever so slightly. The result is a sweet, smoky and flavor-packed veggie. It’s absolutely amazing.

After that initial grilled corn experience, there were a brief few months of grilled corn every night. I can’t even begin to tell you how many ears of grilled corn we ate. Way too many to count. However, this summer I thought it’d be a nice idea to try something new with my grilled corn obsession. After all, there are only so many ears of corn one can eat.

A thousand different recipe ideas came to mind, but my favorite ended up being a rather simple dish, but one packed with smoky grilled corn flavor: Charred Corn Salsa. Tossed with a little lime juice, jalapenos and cilantro, this salsa is a perfect summer snack or appetizer. It’s a cinch to make and is perfect for chips, atop grilled fish or chicken, or added to salads. Any way you serve it, I promise you’re in for a treat.

Grilled corn salsa with chips


Charred Sweet Corn Salsa

Recipe by Maria Tadic, RD

Ingredients

1 ear corn, grilled (see below for instructions)
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 jalapeño, minced. More if you like a spicier salsa
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. lime zest
1 to 2 Tbsp. lime juice, depending on preference
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. honey

Instructions

  1. Preheat grill or oven grill pan to high heat.
  2. Place cleaned ear of corn on the grill or grill pan. Sear outside of corn until most of the kernels are browned and charred. Be careful not to burn and completely blacken the kernels.
  3. Once cooled, carefully removed corn kernels from the cob. Place in a medium bowl.
  4. Add in all of the remaining ingredients, stirring to combine.
  5. Allow salsa to sit for about 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve at room temperature. Finished salsa can be kept in the refrigerator for up to one week.
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Maria Tadic, RD
Maria Tadic, RD, is a registered dietitian currently working in the field of Bariatric Surgery and Nutrition. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband. She's a foodie, runner, blogger and self proclaimed home chef! Read more from Maria on her blog, Bean A Foodie, or follow her on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest.