Grilled Corn and Squash Salad

Nothing reminds me of summer more than fresh, grilled corn on the cob.

As a kid I loved to help shuck the corn. I’d peel back the layers of husk and discover the plump, juicy, golden kernels beneath. Being involved in the cooking process created a sense of ownership of the food that made me more excited and proud to eat it. The half a stick of butter and teaspoon of salt that I slathered onto each cob, well that definitely helped too. 

Because corn is one of the four most genetically modified crops in the country, it’s gained a bad reputation in nutrition and health communities and has made consumers, myself included, afraid to eat it. This just isn’t fair since the real problem is the huge agricultural corporations like Monsanto, who continue to produce 80% of the U.S. GMO crop despite known health consequences. True, corn doesn’t have as much nutritional value as say, Quinoa, and if you eat a poor diet and have corn as your one vegetable for the week, then yes, you could definitely make a better dinner choice. However, if you buy organic, non-GMO corn and have a generally balanced diet with plenty of other fruits and vegetables, there’s nothing to be afraid of. Corn is high in fiber, low in sugar and calories, and low on the glycemic index which we know can help with weight maintenance. This salad is so simple to make—especially if you’re already grilling—and would be an awesome addition to any 4th of July party menu.

Ingredients (Serves 4, prep time 15 minutes, active cook time 10 minutes)

3 cups of fresh corn (about 3 medium ears) 

1 cup zucchini squash, halved lengthwise and sliced 

1 cup, halved cherry tomatoes 

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion 

1/4 cup avocado (about 1/4 of a medium avocado)

1/4 cup cilantro 

1 tbsp lime juice (about 1 lime) 

1 tbsp water

1 tsp minced jalapeno pepper

1 tsp honey 

1 tsp kosher or sea salt 

Directions 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the corn for about 5 minutes. While the corn is boiling slice the tomatoes, zucchini and red onion and place in a large salad bowl.

When the corn is done boiling, baste each cob with olive oil and transfer to the grill. Cook over medium flame for an additional 5 minutes, browning on all sides.

(Side note: grilling corn after boiling is optional. I prefer this method as cooking it only on the grill takes longer and requires more attention to make sure the corn is thoroughly cooked, but not burned. If you’d rather keep it really simple, just boil the corn. It will still taste great but without the grilled flavor).

Slice the corn kernels off each cob by placing the cob on its end and gliding the knife down the length of the cob. Add corn to the bowl of vegetables.

In a food processor combine the avocado, cilantro, lime juice, honey, jalapeño, salt and water and puree until smooth.

If you don’t have a food processor you can hand mash the avocado and very finely mince the cilantro and jalapeño, add the honey, water, lime juice and salt, then whisk to combine.

Pour dressing over corn mixture and stir combine. Serve immediately. 

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