There’s something about summer that makes me want to experiment with grilling. I love those meals that go from start to finish on the grill outside. Mr. Wonderful and I sit ouside with a cool drink to sip on. He stands at the grill and I keep him company. Such was the case tonight when we made this Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad with my sister in law.
Sometimes we light the Tiki torches in the dusk and enjoy the night breeze. Sam, Abby and Max sit at our feet, or jump up on an empty patio chair. It is the picture of bliss and relaxation.
Now that I’ve painted that wonderful picture, I should also tell you – we grill in Oklahoma because it’s too blasted hot to turn our ovens on inside. It causes our air-conditioning bill to skyrocket.
I like grilling cuz Mr. Wonderful has to cook, and there are no pans to wash!
No I’m not.
Tonight is our date night. My sis-in-law Cheryl stopped by and we invited her to stay. It was incredibly nice to have an evening with “grown-up” conversation and just chill. Cheryl joined in and we cooked grilled a great meal!
I have been trying to dream up a grilled salad that involves corn and by jove, I think I’ve got it! Here’s how it goes.
Take 3 ears of fresh corn. Peel back the husks but don’t rip them off! These are going to provide steam packets for our corn to cook on the grill. DO take the corn silk off though. This is a bugger to remove when hot. Cheryl got this lovely job.
Don’t you love fresh corn? It just says summer! This is the star of the show.
Once the silk is removed, pull the husks back over the corn. Tie with a piece of the husk around the end if it gets ornery. Soak in cold water in your sink or in a bucket for 15-30 minutes. This keeps your husks from burning on the grill. A little open space is okay as that will allow those browned pieces of corn that are fabulous to eat!
Take a red pepper and cut off the end. Slice it in half and remove the ribs and seeds. Slice it in wide strips. Place on a platter to take to the grill. Take your zucchini and/or yellow squash and slice off the ends and then cut it down the middle lengthwise.
Take a red onion, and without cutting off the ends (these will hold them together on the grill), cut it in half, then in wedges. Remove the peel. Put it on the platter with its friends. We used about 3-4 wedges. W e also sliced in half about 8-10 grape tomatoes. We did not grill the tomatoes.
Here they are, the supporting actors of the show.
Cut your avocado in half lengthwise. Stick the pit with your knife, twist, and remove the pit. It goes on the platter too!
Brush all sides of the veggies with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper (except skins of avocado). We waited for a bit to do our avocado, as we didn’t want the cut sides to brown.
Take your corn and your platter out to the grill. Enlist the help of your favorite grill man.
Grill the corn, turning every 5 minutes for about 15-20 minutes, so it goes on first. We went ahead and grilled some extras to just eat as roasted corn.
See that little dog in the background? That’s Abby, and her entire purpose in life is to wait for the dogs next door to come over to that fence. When they do, she pounces on them if they stick their nose under it.
Ahhhh the life of a dog.
After about 10 minutes of grilling the corn, add your onion wedges. They’re going to need about 10 minutes. Turn them every few minutes.
Now add your red pepper strips. They’re going to need about 3-4 minutes on each side. You want some crunch left in them. After all, this is a salad.
Did I mention the really great steaks we had also? Mmmmm…what a night!
Put your avocado on with only 2-3 minutes left. You can turn it once to make pretty grill marks that cross.
Remove all your veggies from the grill. Let rest for about 5 minutes to cool.
Meanwhile, make your dressing while the veggies cool. We had this salad semi-warm, which was great, but last night, I pulled the leftovers out of the fridge and it was incredible cold, so take your pick. I think I preferred it cold.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar , 1/4 t. pepper, 1/2 t. salt, 1 T. sugar or honey, 1 t. dijon mustard, and 1/2 chopped seeded jalepeno pepper. Now chop up a handful of chopped cilantro or basil. Tonight we used basil per Cheryl’s request. After whisking all of this together, slowly drizzle the olive oil in to emulsify, while whisking like crazy.
That’s it! Your dressing’s done!
Now, cut corn off the cob and put into a large bowl.
Cut up your other veggies into bite size chunks. Add to your corn in the larger bowl.
Pour your dressing over and stir.
The original plan was to add some type of cheese – cotija would be great as would feta or fresh chunks of mozzarella. However, Cheryl was here and she “don’t do cheese”! Also, I think I went to the only store in our city that didn’t have cotija. If you want to bump this salad up, try one of these. Add some black beans or garbanzo beans and make it a meal!
You have to try making this salad! You will eat your veggies and love them!
- 3 ears fresh corn
- 1 red pepper, stemmed and seeded
- 1 red onion
- 10 cherry tomatoes
- 1 zucchini
- 1 avocado, cut in half, skin still on
- ¼ c. balsamic vinegar
- ¼ t. pepper
- ½ t. salt
- 1 T. honey
- 1 t. Dijon mustard
- ½ chopped jalepeno
- ¼ c. basil, chopped
- ½ c. olive oil
- Gently pull back husks on corn but don't rip off. Remove silk. Pull husks back over corn.
- Soak in cold water for 15-30 minutes to keep husks from burning.
- Slice red pepper into strips
- Peel onion and cut into wedges, leaving ends to hold it together on the grill.
- Slice cherry tomatoes in half.
- Slice zucchini lengthwise in thin strips.
- Place all vegetables on a platter and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Corn - 15-20 minutes
- Onion wedges - 19 minutes
- red pepper and zucchini strips- 3-4 minutes
- Avocado - 1-2 minutes
- Slice corn off cob into large bowl.
- Cut onion, zucchini, and pepper strips into bite size pieces.
- Scoop out avocado and cut into bite size pieces.
- Gently toss all together.
- Whisk together all ingredients except olive oil. Slowly drizzle olive in while whisking vigorously.
- Pour over salad and toss gently.
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