With the last gasps of the unofficial summer calendar closing in on us, let the season’s bounty shine on the plate. And to that end, this lively salad of corn, scallions, jalapeño and avocado tossed with a tangy buttermilk-feta dressing is like summer on a plate. The sweetness of peak-summer corn and the richness of creamy avocado balance out the tartness of the dressing.
While this recipe from NYTimes Cooking could be a side dish or a vegetarian main, we opted to add a protein to give it more heft as an entrée. In that vein, we grilled some chicken breasts with a Japanese 7-spice rub, but grilled shrimp or salmon would work wonderfully also. And to save time on dinner day, we grilled the chicken the day before while barbecuing other items.
The directions below are for the full recipe which allows for 4 to 6 portions. But with just the two of us, we cut most of the recipe in half, while altering quantities of other ingredients as we saw fit. After eating two healthy servings, we still had some leftover for lunch the following day.
Grilled Corn, Avocado and Chicken Salad With Feta Dressing
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, rubbed with spices of your choice (optional)
- 6 ears corn (about 3 lbs.), shucked and silk removed
- 1 bunch scallions, trimmed
- 1 jalapeño, stemmed and halved lengthwise
- 3 Tbsp.olive oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
- ⅓ cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest plus 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 small garlic clove, grated
- ¼ cup sliced fresh chives
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 medium head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces (about 8 cups)
- 2 avocados, sliced
- If a protein is desired, grill chicken (or shrimp, salmon) until done. This can be done a day ahead and refrigerated until ready to use.
- Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high. Brush corn, scallions and jalapeño with the oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Arrange on the grill and cook, turning occasionally, until corn kernels are browned in spots, 6 to 8 minutes, and the scallions and jalapeño are charred all over and tender, 9 to 10 minutes.
- Transfer vegetables to a cutting board and let cool slightly.
- In a medium bowl, using a whisk (I used a pestle), mash the feta into a coarse paste. Whisk in buttermilk, lemon zest and juice and garlic, then stir in chives and parsley.
- Finely chop the charred jalapeño and stir it into the feta dressing; season with salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl, toss lettuce with half the feta dressing and arrange on a platter. Cut corn kernels off the cob and slice scallions into bite-size pieces. Arrange avocado slices, corn and scallions on top of the lettuce.
- Serve with remaining dressing.
Adapted from a recipe by Sue Li for NYTimes Cooking