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Food & Drink


Fresh corn is among the best things about summer. It’s juicy, sweet and extremely affordable when it’s available, so I’m always looking to make the most of it! In this salad, I combined the fresh sweetness of sweet corn with another favorite of summer Zucchini and then cooked them both in high heat to create the flavor of a grill with a smokey smoky aroma. The Charred Corn and Zucchini Salad is delicious, easy to make, and beautifully conveys the freshness of summer vegetables. I am sure this will become my favorite summer meal.


I used a scorching 10″ cast-iron skillet to cook my vegetables for this salad. However, you have two choices. If you own an outdoor grill that you love cooking outdoors, you can grill your veggies over the flame of an open fire. A grid pan that you can cook on can also be used.

OR If you live close to a Trader Joe’s shop, they sell frozen corn that is “fire roasted” with that delicious smoky taste, a perfect shorter cut. Then, you can cook the zucchini and onions in a hot skillet, as I used, or roast the vegetables on the stove until they get caramelized on the edges.


I had planned to prepare a chipotle ranch to serve with this salad. Still, after I tasted it before dressing, I realized it was delicious and that adding the dressing would obscure the fresh and delicious flavors of the vegetables in season, soso I decided to leave it out. The tiny hints of saltiness from the feta and the sweet juices derived from the vegetables added all the flavor I wanted.

If you want to make chipotle ranches, I created my homemade ranch dressing with no parsley and 1/2 tsp chipotle powder. Lime Crema would also be a fantastic Charred Corn and Zucchini Salad dressing.


As I said, this is the perfect dish to serve with your meal during summer. It is ideally alongside Cilantro Lime Chicken, grilled chicken coated in Homemade BBQ Sauce, Blackened Shrimp Tacos, Fish Tacos, Chipotle Lime Chicken and Rice, and Green Chile Turkey Burgers. Make it part of a vegetarian plate by serving it with quick-seasoned black beans and rice, as I have done in the images below.

As well as serving as a dish to accompany a meal, salads such as this can also be perfect as taco fillings or toppings! You can even pour it on top of nachos!


Two tablespoons high-heat oil* ($0.47)

Three ears of fresh sweet corn ($1.20)

Two zucchini ($1.13)

Half a red onion ($0.22)

Two pinches of salt and a bit of pepper ($0.05)

1 cup of chopped cilantro ($0.10)

2 oz. feta ($0.75)


Take the silk and husks from the cobs of corn and trim the stems. Clean the surface of the kernel with the oil.

Cook the cast-iron skillet or gill pan on moderate heat for at least five minutes, allowing ample time to create lots of heat. When the skillet is hot, you can add the cobs of corn. Let the corn cook, turning it over frequently until the kernels are bright and some have formed deep charcoal marks. This should take approximately 15 minutes in total.

Cut the zucchini in length as the corn cooks, and then cut the onions into long rings. Make sure to coat all sides of the onion and zucchini with oil.

Once the corn has cooked, take it from the cutting board, allow it to cool, and then put the zucchini on top. Cook the zucchini on each side until it is well burned (about 10 minutes). Then, remove it onto the cutting board. Then cook the onion slices until they are charred on both sides (about 5 minutes).

Cut or slice the zucchini into quarter-rounds, half-rounds, or half-rounds. Chop the onion into smaller pieces. Chop roughly about 1 cup of cilantro. Put the onion, zucchini, and cilantro into a large bowl.

Place the corn cobs on their ends and employ a sharp knife to carefully cut down each side of the corn to separate the kernels. The kernels should be placed in the bowl with the onion, zucchini, and cilantro.

Sprinkle the vegetables with two generous pinches of salt and pepper. Then, toss the vegetables for a few minutes to mix. Then, sprinkle the feta over the top and gently mix to integrate. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator to enjoy later. This salad is delicious and served cold or warm.

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Joseph M. Kay

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