Sunday, July 14, 2013

Charred Corn Salad with Basil, Onion, and Peppers:

Bringing My Grill Back

Corn.....What can I say about corn? Not a lot, unfortunately. I was trying to come up with something humorous to write but nothing really stuck out as funny. In fact, all my jokes were a bit too corny.....So I decided to abandon the "funny" angle. And not a moment too soon.

Instead, I decided to write about something that I miss about being a carnivore. Meat? Nope. I'm over it. I'm much happier with my vegetarianism. I relish it, really. That being said, the thing I miss about being a carnivore is the good ol' barbecue. Specifically, the atmosphere. The camaraderie. The dudes standing around the grill, sucking down cold ones, not saying anything particularly deep, burping and watching stuff burn on the grill while the girls sip wine spritzers in the shade and dish about cousin Sarah, the black sheep of the family, who, if you didn't already hear, is addicted to pain pills and bad boys. Ladies..stop that! Sarah may be a bit crazy but she's not an addict. (Disclaimer: All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental)

Not really sure why I have avoided my barbecue this last year and half. I just did. Not that it was difficult, I just didn't really know what to do with it. Which is a bummer because I have this kick-ass professional series gas grill (don't judge) with 5 burners pumping out 60,000 BTU's of heat. She's sat on my back patio in a state of arrested decay. Kind of a limbo for grills. I've even considered letting the ivy overtake her like some sort of leafy coral reef. Reclaimed by Mother Nature. 

However, I recently had some family over for the 4th of July. The ivy was cut away as Mother Nature got to see how defiant her child really was. And the grill was fired up so the family could grill their grillables. In the midst of it all, I stood there and watched my old friend in her new found glory doing what she always did so well. She delighted the family as if she'd never been gone. And to them, she'd hadn't. It was me that she'd become estranged. 

That's when it struck me. This is bullshit! It's time to get back behind the grill. It's time to enjoy that patio time with the outside speakers playing my jams while I grill my own sort of grillables. And when the dudes aren't looking, have me a 32 ounce plastic cup of wine spritzer. Okay, maybe Sarah needs to get off the junk after all. It was all Billy Sr.'s fault anyway. And did you know that Billy Jr. isn't even his?........But I digress. (See disclaimer at the end of paragraph two)

It is with great pleasure (to myself) that I announce my return to the grill has commenced. Coincidentally, I might add, with baby steps. No forethought, it's just the way the proverbial ball has opted to bounce. 

My baby step comes in the form of a side dish. But let me tell you, although this is a side dish, I almost ate the whole thing by myself in one sitting after I made it. There's a small Tupperware container of it left in the fridge but I suspect it'll be gone in about 10 minutes. This recipe is based loosely upon the version found in Bon Appetit. Hope you dig it. 

Charred Corn Salad with Basil, Onions and Peppers


  • 6 ears of corn, husked
  • 5 Tbsp olive olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 medium red or green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium jalapeno pepper, finely diced 
  • 1/2 cup, loosely packed fresh basil leaves, cut chiffonade
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper


1. Heat your grill to a medium high heat. Rub corn with 2 Tbsp of the olive oil. 

2. Grill corn, turning frequently, until corn is charred and cooked through. 10 to 12 minutes.

3. Remove the corn from the grill and set aside for a half hour to cool completely. 

4. Once the corn has cooled, cut the kernels from the cob into a large bowl. 

5. In a colander, rinse the onion under cold water for about 10 to 20 seconds. This mellows it's effect on the dish. Drain well. 

6. To the bowl of corn, mix in the onion, the remaining 3 Tbsp of oil, bell peppers, jalapeno pepper, basil, lime juice, and thyme. 

7. Finally, season with salt and pepper to taste.


This dish can be served at room temperature or cold. It's fantastic it either way.  

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