Summer Corn & Arugula Salad: A Refreshing and Healthy Dish for Summer

Are you ready to indulge in a refreshing and healthy summer dish? Look no further than this delightful summer corn and arugula salad. Bursting with flavor, it combines the sweetness of fresh corn, the juiciness of cherry tomatoes, the crunch of red onion, and the peppery kick of arugula. Tossed in a light homemade vinaigrette, this salad is not only gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan, but it also captures the essence of summer on a plate.

The Best Sweet Corn Summer Salad: A Nostalgic Reminder

There’s something magical about corn on the cob during the summer. It brings back memories of joyous family gatherings, backyard barbecues, and carefree days. In Texas, where the summers are scorching hot, a bowl of refreshing vegetables tossed with a simple vinaigrette is all you need to beat the heat. That’s why this easy and fresh summer corn salad, with its natural sweetness and invigorating flavors, has become my go-to dish for cookouts with loved ones.

Why You’ll Love This Simple Summer Salad Recipe

This salad is not your average side dish. It’s a vibrant combination of flavors and textures that will leave you craving more. Here are a few reasons why you’re going to fall in love with this salad:

  • Quick and Easy: With just 10 minutes of preparation time, it’s perfect for busy individuals and beginner cooks.
  • Naturally Sweet: This salad relies on the natural sweetness of corn, eliminating the need for added sugar.
  • Homemade Vinaigrette: A light and tangy dressing made with white wine vinegar adds the perfect touch of acidity.
  • Versatile: While it shines as a side dish, you can easily turn it into a main course by adding grilled chicken, salmon, or shrimp.
  • Healthy and Inclusive: This salad is suitable for vegans and gluten-free diets, making it a crowd-pleaser for everyone.
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Is Corn Healthy?

You might be wondering about the health benefits of corn. Well, this salad is not only delicious but also nutritious. Corn is rich in fiber, which aids digestion. It also contains essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin B, zinc, magnesium, copper, iron, and manganese. With minimal ingredients and an emphasis on whole foods, this salad is guilt-free and nourishing.

Ingredients for Summer Corn & Arugula Salad

Preparing this salad is a breeze, as it requires just eight healthy ingredients that you might already have in your kitchen. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Fresh corn
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Red onion
  • Baby arugula
  • White wine vinegar
  • Lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Kitchen Tools Used

The beauty of this recipe lies in its simplicity. You won’t need a multitude of kitchen tools for success. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Large boiling pot
  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring tools (1/2 teaspoon, 1 teaspoon, 1/3 cup, 1/2 cup, and 1 cup)

How to Make Fresh Corn & Arugula Salad

Preparing this sweet summer corn and arugula salad is a breeze. It’s a perfect quick lunch or dinner side dish for busy days. Just follow these three simple steps:

  1. Start by boiling the corn. After shucking the ears of corn, boil them for three minutes to bring out their natural sweetness. Then, transfer them to a bowl of ice water to halt further cooking. Once cooled, carefully cut the kernels off the cob.
  2. Prepare the dressing by whisking together white wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small jar.
  3. In a large serving bowl, combine baby arugula, cooled corn kernels, cherry tomatoes, and red onion. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and gently toss to combine, ensuring some larger corn pieces remain intact.
  4. Let the salad sit for at least 10 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld. Adjust the seasonings according to your taste.
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Serve this salad cold or at room temperature and savor the freshness!

Recipe Tips

To make the most of this simple fresh corn salad, here are some handy tips:

  1. Allow the salad to marinate for at least 15 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld and results in a perfect balance of tanginess and sweetness.
  2. After boiling the corn, plunge it into cold water to prevent overcooking and retain its crunchiness.
  3. For an extra refreshing experience, chill the salad in the fridge before serving.
  4. If you’re looking to turn this salad into a main dish, simply add your choice of protein. Grilled chicken, shrimp, or salmon would all pair beautifully with this salad.
  5. For well-coated arugula leaves and bursts of corn in every bite, toss the arugula in half of the vinaigrette before adding the other ingredients.

Variations to Try

If you’re feeling adventurous, here are some variations you can explore:

  • Add avocado for a creamy touch.
  • Incorporate fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro.
  • Grill the corn instead of boiling it for a smoky flavor.
  • Boost the protein content by adding chickpeas or beans.
  • Make it a complete main dish by including grilled chicken or shrimp.
  • Enhance the veggie content with bell peppers or cucumbers.

Best Way to Cook Corn on the Cob

For this salad, boiling the corn for three minutes is the best method. Quick and easy, it removes excess starch while preserving the natural sweetness and tenderness of the kernels. Alternatively, grilling the corn is another fantastic option.

Can You Make Corn Salad with Frozen Corn?

While fresh corn is delightful, frozen corn can also be used if you don’t have fresh corn on hand. Simply use around four cups of sweet frozen corn, following the package instructions for defrosting.

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Can You Make Fresh Corn Salad Ahead of Time?

Absolutely! One of the benefits of this recipe is its make-ahead potential. This salad actually tastes better after marinating in the vinaigrette for a few hours, making it perfect for busy schedules or meal prep.

What to Pair with Corn Salad

To turn this salad into a complete meal, adding a protein is a great option. Grilled chicken, salmon, or shrimp are excellent choices. If serving as a side dish, consider pairing it with other Healthful Blondie dinner recipes. Some suggestions include Balsamic Feta Stuffed Chicken Breasts, Easy Al Pastor Shrimp Tacos, BBQ Chicken Sweet Potato Sliders, Healthy Pineapple Teriyaki Turkey Burgers, or Super Crispy Tofu (Air Fried or Oven Baked).

How to Store Leftover Salad

If you find yourself with any leftovers, simply store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for one to three days. No reheating required!

Conclusion

Experience the vibrant flavors of summer with this refreshing and healthy corn and arugula salad. Combining the natural sweetness of corn, the freshness of cherry tomatoes, and the peppery kick of arugula, this salad is a true celebration of the season. Quick and easy to make, it offers versatility, health benefits, and a burst of flavors on your plate. So try this recipe today and savor the taste of summer!

Recipe by Tati Chermayeff / Healthful Blondie + Photos by The Travel Palate