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.
A super-easy and healthy side dish to go with your grilled entrée. According to The Endless Meal where I found this recipe “Everything works about this salad: the crunchy but slightly softened cucumbers, the creamy avocados, the earthy cilantro, and the hint of spice that tingles your tongue.”
Making this cucumber and avocado salad requires maceration. The basis of which is tossing the cucumbers in a little salt and sugar then letting them sit at room temperature while some of the juice is drawn out. The process softens the cucumber just a little and makes a sort of dressing for the salad.
NOTE: You can prepare it ahead of time by combining the cucumbers and spices in the bag but NOT sprinkling the salt and sugar over. Place the bag in the fridge for up to 8 hours. When you are ready, take the bag out of the fridge, add the salt and sugar, let it sit for a half hour then continue with the rest of the preparation.
Yes, it is a “green salad” but quite different from what most of us picture because there is no lettuce at all! The recipe calls for a red Thai chili, but in lieu of that we used a green serrano making it even “greener”. The flavors and textures paired wonderfully with our grilled pork chop, but the salad does not store well after the initial meal, so eat it up! (That is why we cut the recipe in half for the two of us—with just a tad remaining.)
Place the ginger, cucumbers, sea salt, sugar, garlic, and red chili in a large, resealable plastic bag. Squish the bag around a little so that everything is mixed together. Set the bag aside on your counter for a half hour.
Pour everything from the bag into a salad bowl. Add the celery, oil, and lime juice and toss well. Season to taste with sea salt. Add the diced avocados, basil, and cilantro and gently toss once more.
The love affair begins with the dressing, which is the key to adding unforgettable flavor. Just like a romance, it is sweet, spicy, tangy—with a jolt of garlic thrown in. Although I had to laugh at the notion that this Honey Garlic Shrimp, Corn, and Avocado Bacon Salad recipe from Half-Baked Harvest was supposed to feed six. Including daughter Julia who was in for a visit, the three of us polished it off entirely—yes, it was THAT good!
While there is not much cooking, you do need to char the ears of corn, crisp the bacon and sear the shrimp. Afterward, it comes together in minutes. Honey garlic seared shrimp cooked together with the bacon drippings is then tossed up in a fresh salad of romaine, grilled corn, salty feta, and creamy avocado. The herby dressing is so deliciously flavorful and pulls it altogether. You will be pining for more 💜…
To simplify things on dinner night, pre-prep by making the crispy bacon pieces and charred corn ahead of time, let cool, and store until ready to use.
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled (don’t buy the pre-crumbled variety)
To make the dressing. Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper.
In another bowl, toss the shrimp with 1/3 of the dressing. Let sit 10 minutes.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan. Roughly chop when cooled.
Add the shrimp to the hot bacon fat and cook on both sides until seared, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from the heat. You will need to do this in two batches.
To make the salad, combine the greens, corn, and tomatoes in a salad bowl and toss with a little dressing. Add the shrimp, bacon, and avocados. Spoon the dressing overtop. Top with feta. Season with freshly cracked pepper and salt. Serve warm or cold.
This delicious simple bean salad, Fasolia Piaz, was found in our Milk Street magazine and had the Mediterranean profile we were looking for. In Greece they typically use large, flat butter beans, but here, easier-to-find cannellinis are incorporated.
To compensate for canned beans’ blandness, they are heated in the microwave, then tossed while still hot with oil, vinegar and aromatics. As the beans cool, they absorb the seasonings, so they’re flavorful throughout.
A bonus, the beans can be heated, dressed and refrigerated up to a day in advance; but bring the beans to room temperature before tossing with the avocado, herbs and lemon. However, even cold the salad is delicious. A great dish to serve at a picnic or potluck as a side for meat lovers, or as a main for plant-based followers.
Milk Street stresses not to skip the step of heating the beans in the microwave, and don’t allow the beans to cool before adding the oil, vinegar and aromatics. Dressing them while hot ensures they are fully infused with flavor. To keep the flavors and colors fresh and bright, don’t add the avocado and herbs until you’re ready to serve.