Roasted Corn Salad
on Jul 04, 2022
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Grilling corn on the cob gets all the attention, but I’m here to make the case for roasting corn. For everyone out there who doesn’t have a grill and still loves those beautiful golden yellow kernels, go ahead and switch on your oven. And even if you do have a grill, try roasting it for a change.
I am so in love with corn that I try to cook it and devour it in any and every way possible. When you roast corn, it doesn’t get the same char as it would on the grates of the grill. But what happens is that it browns and kind of caramelizes, so it’s crisp on the edges.
Combining corn with well chopped romaine is great because they almost match in size. This salad has satisfying bites accented with salty feta and nutty sunflower seeds. It delivers on flavor and texture, so you just want to keep on eating it. Assume big servings for all!
How To Roast Corn In The Oven
If you have visions of ears of corn neatly lined up, you have missed one critical early step. After peeling off the husks and removing the silk, you have to slice off the corn kernels. Use a sharp chef’s knife, and they should come off the cobs very easily.
Then for this recipe I stir the kernels into a mixture of olive oil and spices and spread them across 2 baking sheets. It’s important that you don’t crowd the corn onto a single pan. If the corn is too close together, it will just steam and won’t brown as much or turn crisp.
Ingredients & Substitutions
This is what you need:
- Corn: When looking for the freshest corn, grab ears that are tightly wrapped in their husks. The silk hanging out at the end should be a little bit damp. Resist the urge to peel back the husk to take a peek at the corn because this will cause it to dry out faster.
- Romaine is always my top pick for any chopped salad. That’s because it is crunchy and so easy to cut. Also, you will be amazed at how much you get from chopping a single head. It’s way more interesting than boring lettuce like iceberg, but it is very adaptable to an endless range of other flavors and ingredients.
- Feta is one of my favorite cheeses for salads. It’s not shy about being salty. And I love that. The crumbles really hold their own mixed with everything else. Goat cheese is a good substitute.
- Scallions add a nice green onion flavor. The recipe calls for 3 sliced scallions, which also act like fresh herbs in their own way. You can include a combination of scallions and finely diced red onions if you want.
- Sunflower seeds: Pretty much every salad needs something nutty that gives you both crunch and taste like sunflower seeds. You can swap chopped walnuts or even almonds.
- Spices: What makes this roasted corn really special is the seasoning blend I stir it in before it goes into the oven. It includes cumin, paprika and chili powder. Once again, it’s your spice drawer for the win.
- Olive oil: You need extra virgin olive oil to make a slurry with the spices for the corn kernels. And you need oil for the vinaigrette.
- White wine vinegar: Because the corn has so much going on with the spices, I keep it simple with the dressing, using white wine vinegar and oil. Red wine vinegar would also work.
- Salt and pepper season both the corn before roasts as well as the vinaigrette.
How To Make This Roasted Corn Salad Recipe
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine the cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper with the oil in a large bowl.
Stir the corn into the spices and oil.
Roast the corn. Spread the corn across 2 sheet pans. Make sure it is in a single layer. Roast the corn until it is lightly browned and crisp. This will take about 25-30 minutes. Then let the corn cool for 10-15 minutes before you mix it in with the rest of the salad ingredients.
Combine the corn, romaine, scallions, feta cheese, and sunflower seeds in a big bowl.
Make the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, whisk together the white wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Toss the salad while drizzling in the vinaigrette.
Variations & Additions
Corn is one of those vegetables that goes with lots of other things, so this salad is a solid base to start if you want more. You can make a few additions such as:
- Avocados: Dice an avocado or 2 and stir it right in. They are always fantastic with corn.
- Tomatoes: Either raw or roasted tomatoes. Halve smaller varieties like grape tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. Cut larger tomatoes into chunks.
- Red bell peppers: Dice them, so they are a similar size to the corn. You can use raw peppers or roasted red peppers from a jar. Just make sure to drain them and towel off the extra moisture.
- Cucumbers are cool and refreshing. Quarter them and thinly slice them, so they are close in size to the corn and romaine.
- Fresh herbs: Add torn fresh basil leaves or chopped cilantro.
- Lime Dressing: Especially if you decide to include fresh cilantro and avocado, skip the white wine vinegar and add fresh lime juice to the vinaigrette instead.
- Protein: Turn this into a dinner salad with a protein like grilled or roasted chicken, shrimp, tofu or even steak.
Serve this summer salad recipe like a side dish or a main dish. Depending on if you make additions or adjustments, it goes with pretty much anything. Refer to the variations above for ideas. Corn can be found in so many different cuisines and cultures which explains why you can go in lots of different directions with it. One of my go-to ways to serve it is with tacos.
If you know you’re going to have leftovers, try not to toss the part of the salad you aren’t planning on serving in the vinaigrette. Then store the salad and the dressing in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
You don’t have to use fresh corn. If you do use canned corn, rinse it in a colander and pat off the excess water with a towel before stirring it into the spices and oil.
For frozen corn, do not thaw it. Mix it with the oil and spices and spread it on the sheet pan and roast it. The corn will likely take a little longer in the oven since it is starting out frozen.
One ear of corn is about 1 cup of kernels, so you will need around 6 cups of corn kernels for the recipe.
More Roasted Corn Recipes
More Grilled Corn Recipes
Roasted Corn Salad
- For salad
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 6 ears corn shucked
- 1 head romaine finely chopped
- 3 scallions thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- For vinaigrette
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, stir 3 tablespoons olive oil with the cumin, chili powder, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Then stir in the corn, coating in the mixture.
- Spread the corn in a single layer across 2 baking sheets.
- Roast the corn until it is lightly browned, about 25-30 minutes. Let the corn cool for 10-15 minutes.
- Combine the corn, romaine, scallions, feta, and sunflower seeds in a large bowl.
- For the vinaigrette, whisk 3 tablespoons olive oil, white wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a small bowl.
- Stir together the salad while drizzling in the dressing.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.