Summertime, to me, means packing a cooler for trips to the lake, the beach, picnics in the park or easy backyard entertaining. While tomatoes run a close second, this time of year, I absolutely love fresh sweet, crunchy corn. Corn is amazing by itself eaten raw right off the cob (yes, there is no need to cook that corn before you enjoy it!) or thrown into a myriad of dishes to create a sumptuous side or an interesting salad, a tasty relish or crowd pleasing dip. There are so many ways to enjoy fresh corn, that we had a hard time narrowing it down to just five, but here’s our top five corn recipes, all company- and picnic-worthy.

Edamame and Corn Salad 

Christiana Roussel's Edamame and Corn Salad

Christiana Roussel’s Edamame and Corn Salad

Christiana Roussel, Southern food and lifestyle writer and author of Christiana’s Kitchen makes this delicious side dish to take along on trips to the lake or beach.

Ingredients:

  • 1 16-ounce package frozen shelled edamame beans
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (or other fresh herbs of your choice)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste

 

Instructions:

Cook edamame beans according to package directions, just to al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Pour into a large bowl and set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and sauté until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add corn and toss to coat and cook until the corn is heated through and begins to caramelize. Add the corn and shallot to the edamame beans. Toss to coat.

Make the dressing by whisking together the lemon juice and sherry vinegar. Keep whisking while drizzling in the remaining olive oil. Add the dressing and all remaining ingredients to the edamame mixture. Toss to coat. Chill until ready to serve.

 

Black Bean, Corn and Feta Dip

Image credit:

Black Bean, Corn and Feta Dip. Image credit: www.tastebook.com

This super easy-to-throw-together dip comes to us from Tiffany Denson, of T.Lish Dressings and Marinades.

Ingredients:
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 
kernels from 2 ears of fresh corn or 1 can shoe peg corn, drained
  • 1 6-ounce package crumbled feta cheese
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 2/3 cup T.lish Sweet Garlic Vinaigrette
Instructions:
Combine scallions with black beans, corn, and crumbled feta. Pour T.Lish Vinaigrette over other ingredients and toss. Chill. Serve with tortilla chips. Serves 4 to 6. Prep time 10 minutes or less.
Summer Corn Salad
Summer Corn Salad. Image credit: 101 Cookbooks

Summer Corn Salad. Image credit: 101 Cookbooks

This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite cookbook authors and food blogger, 101 Cookbooks by Heidi Swanson.
Ingredients:
  • 6 ears of corn, shucked
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 3/4 cup toasted pepitas
  • 3/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano (Note: I have not been able to find Mexican, so I just use regular.)
Instructions:
Use a knife to cut the kernels from the cobs. Place the kernels in a medium bowl with the shallot while you make the dressing. Combine the lemon juice, salt, and sugar in a small bowl or jar. Gradually add the oil, whisking vigorously until the dressing comes together. Taste, and adjust with more lemon juice, salt or sugar, if needed. This dressing should be on the sweet side, not overly tangy.
Just before serving, add the seeds to the bowl of corn, along with 2/3 of the dressing. Toss well–really get everything well coated. If you want more dressing, add more to taste. Crush the oregano between your palms and let it shower down on to the salad. Toss one more time and serve. Serves 6 or more. Prep time: 10 minutes.
Grilled Chicken Salad with Feta, Corn and Blueberries
Image credit: The Pioneer Woman

Image credit: The Pioneer Woman

This salad sounded so unusual that I had to try it after seeing it on The Pioneer Woman’s blog. I must admit to veering a bit, and rather than making the salad dressing as she does, I substituted Atlanta Fresh Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing, which I found at Whole Foods – it was mighty tasty and probably saved me a heap of fat and calories!

Ingredients:
  • 4 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • 3 stalks celery (inner light green stalks), finely diced
  • 2 ears fresh corn
  • 1/4 whole medium red onion, finely diced
  • 1-1/2 cup blueberries
  • 3 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half
  • 1 whole lemon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (more to taste)
  • Salt and pepper (additional) to taste
  • 3/4 cups crumbled feta

Instructions:

Place chicken breasts into large plastic storage bag. Pound with a mallet or rolling pin to flatten to 1/4 inch uniform thickness. Season chicken with salt and pepper.

Heat grill and drizzle chicken with olive oil. Grill chicken on both sides until done, about 7 minutes per side. (Rotate halfway during grilling each side to ensure pretty grill marks.) Remove from pan. Allow to cool.

With a very sharp knife, shave kernels off each corn cob. Combine with the onion and celery. Set aside.

Mix together mayonnaise, sour cream, feta, and half-and-half. Stir in sugar, squeeze in lemon juice, and add salt and pepper. Stir, then taste. Add more salt if necessary; do not undersalt! Here’s where I sometimes get a little lazy and just use Atlanta Yogurt’s Greek Ranch Dressing!

Slice chicken on the bias to create flat, randomly shaped pieces. Throw into a bowl with celery, onion, and corn. Stir to combine. Pour half the dressing over the ingredients and toss gently. Add more as desired, but don’t overcoat the salad; should be light!

At the end, toss in the blueberries to lightly coat them in the dressing. Serve, then sprinkle individual helpings with feta. Serves 4 to 6. Prep time 20 to 30 minutes.

 

Toasted Quinoa, Corn and Avocado Salad

Image Credit:

Image Credit: www.recipelink.com

If you haven’t tried toasted quinoa, you are really missing out. Toasting brings out the nuttiness and turns an otherwise ordinary grain dish into something extraordinary!

Ingredients:

For the salad:

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon mild flavored olive oil or other vegetable oil
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels (from 2 ears)
  • 1 cup diced (½ inch firm, ripe) plum tomatoes
  • ½ cup thin-sliced (¼ inch) scallions (white and green parts)
  • 1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and diced (½ inch)
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

 

For the Jalapeño Dressing:

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 5 tablespoons mild-flavored olive oil or other vegetable oil
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
Instructions:

Rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer under cold running water for at least 45 seconds. Shake the strainer to remove as much water as possible. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the rinsed quinoa and cook, stirring, over medium heat until it is a light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is translucent and appears to be uncoiling, 18 to 20 minutes. Let stand, covered, until cool, about 10 minutes.

To make the dressing, sprinkle the cumin in a small skillet and toast over medium-low heat, stirring, until fragrant and a shade darker in color, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. When the skillet is cool to the touch, add the oil, lime juice, jalapeño, garlic and salt. Transfer to a large bowl and whisk to blend.Add the cooled quinoa, corn, tomatoes and scallions to the dressing and toss to blend. Spoon the salad onto a large platter and sprinkle the avocado and cilantro on top. Serves 4 to 6. Total time 30 minutes.

Check out all of our StyleBlueprint recipes for more inspiration!