ISSUE 81  |  Weekend Getaway

Summertime Delicacies: Corn and Tomato Salad

July 19, 2013 10:00 AM

BY Julie Chai

Some people are crazy about caviar. Others go nuts over truffles. For me, summer fruits and vegetables are the greatest of delicacies. Especially corn and tomatoes. Not to mention corn. And tomatoes. Here’s dinner:

Would you like us to send you a new recipe every Friday? Subscribe to our Gardenista Daily email.

Photos by Erin Boyle for Gardenista.

Above: While I love corn and tomatoes just as they are, I’m also addicted to this salad, a variation on one from Sunset Magazine, where I used to work as a garden editor. It’s like taking a bite of summer. (For an ingredients list, see below.)

Above: Sweet corn tastes best just after it’s picked, so use it as soon as possible. Fresh sweet corn is so tender, there’s no need to cook it before adding it to your salad.


Above: I always grow basil in summer because it tastes best fresh. A 3-inch pot of Italian Large Leaf Sweet Basil is $3.25 from Mountain Valley Growers.

Grow basil in full sun and water it regularly (let the top inch of soil dry out a bit between watering–basil doesn’t like soggy soil), making sure to pinch off any flower heads as soon as you see them forming. After basil flowers, it doesn’t taste as good. And when harvesting, always cut down to the next set of leaves to keep the plant bushy and productive.

Above: I vary this salad in endless ways depending on the ingredients I have on hand–always using corn and tomatoes, of course, but sometimes skipping the basil, avocado, or onions in the recipe below. 

Above: When cutting red onion, I like to make sure it’s in pieces that are the same size, or smaller, than the corn kernels. Red onion has a sharp taste; to remove bitterness, soak it in a bowl of water for a few minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.

Above: Since the corn and onion are sturdy, I mix the olive oil and vinegar with those first, then mix in the rest of the ingredients.

Above: If your tomatoes and avocado are super ripe, they might break apart with heavy mixing, so I add those last.

Above: I used small grape tomatoes from my local farmers’ market, but any kind of cherry tomato will do.

Above: A chiffonade of basil, a splash of cider vinegar, and a drizzle of olive oil is all you need to finish the recipe. 

Corn and Tomato Salad

Serves: Two as a light main dish or four as a side dish


  • 3 ears cooked corn
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 big handfuls (roughly 1 cup) grape tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 small bunch chopped basil
  • 1 small firm-ripe avocado, cubed
  • A drizzle of olive oil and a splash of apple cider vinegar
  • Salt to taste

Would you like us to send you a new recipe every Friday? Subscribe to our Gardenista Daily email.

Want more fresh-from-the-garden recipes? Check these out.