Sweet corn season is here and this Caprese Corn Salad recipe is the perfect use for it. No need to even cook the corn! It’s sweetness paired with salty mozzarella, juicy tomatoes and a simple dressing is Summer side dish perfection in a bowl.
What Is Caprese Salad?
Ok, first things first….
Caprese Salad is an Italian dish consisting of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced tomatoes and fresh basil. Its typically arranged nicely on a plate, and drizzled with olive oil, Italian seasoning or salt and pepper. For an added punch of flavor, balsamic vinegar can also be drizzled over the top.
The red, white and green colors mimic the colors of the Italian flag.
This light salad that can be served on its own, as an appetizer or side dish.
For a fun twist on Caprese Salad, try my Valentines Day Caprese Skewers
What is Caprese Corn Salad?
In the mid-west, around late July and August, the sweet corn is absolutely perfect.
Of course it’s great cooked and eaten right off the cob with a little butter and salt, but I am always looking for other fun ways to incorporate it into our meals.
Our neighborhood always has a block party the first week in August. A few years ago, I was asked to bring a side dish to share. Since Caprese Salad is light and refreshing in the summer, I was planning on bringing that until I bought the absolute best corn at the store earlier that week. I knew instantly that I wanted to incorporate sweet corn into my party dish somehow. Thus, with a little experimenting, Caprese Corn Salad was born.
Instead of large slices of the mozzarella and tomato like classic caprese, I wanted something that could be served in a large bowl and easily scooped up with a serving spoon in a party setting. I use small mozzarella balls called “Ciliengne” (usually found in deli section of your grocery store), and grape tomatoes.
The mozzarella balls and the grape tomatoes are approximately the same size which keeps the flavors of the dish nice and balanced.
I use fresh corn cut right off the cob, (no need to cook it!) and bring the dish together with a simple olive oil dressing and fresh cut basil on top.
What Ingredients Do You Need for Corn Salad?
- fresh sweet corn cut off the cob
- grape tomatoes (like these)
- “cilienge” mozzarella balls (like these)
- white wine vinegar
- olive oil ( like this one)
- fresh basil
How to Cut Corn Off the Cob
Start by shucking the corn.
Peel the leaves completely off the sides of cob and down to the bottom, inverting the husk and the cob. Use your hands to break the husk off the bottom of the corn cob and discard all leaves and silks of corn in trash.
If any silks (strings) remain, you can use a soft tooth brush to brush them off the corn cob.
I like to use an Angel Food Cake pan like this one. The center tube of the pan makes a great place to hold the cob while you cut the kernels, and the kernels will then fall into the base of the pan and not fly all over your counter.
Hold the corn cob with one hand, and using a sharp knife in your other hand, cut the kernels off the cob. Let them collect in the bottom of the cake pan until you are done cutting all of the ears of corn.
Once you have them all cut, simply pour kernels out of the cake pan into a large bowl. Discard the cobs into the trash.
Pro Tip: If you do not have an Angel Food Cake pan, use a small bowl upside down in a larger bowl. Use the bottom of the small bowl to position the corn cob, and let the kernels fall into the larger bowl.
How Do You Chiffonade (Shred) Basil?
The easiest way to chiffonade basil is to use a pair of scissors or kitchen sheers.
Trim the stems off the basil leaves and layer the leaves one on top of another flat on the counter.
Roll the leaves up like you would roll a rug or a yoga mat. Then take your scissors and snip the rolled basil into sections 1/8″ wide.
This will create perfect shredded basil ribbons. If your chiffonade basil seems too long, simply give it another cut across the center of the ribbon lengthwise to make two smaller shredded basil pieces.
How Do You Make Caprese Corn Salad?
You will want approximately 6 large or 8 smaller ears of corn. Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels off the cob (see my recommended method above), and add to a large bowl.
Using a serrated knife, slice 1 cup of grape tomatoes in half the long way and add to the bowl of corn.
Pro Tip: Always use a serrated knife to slice tomatoes. The scalloped edge of the knife will cut right through the tougher skin of the tomato, whereas a smooth knife blade can sometimes slip on the skin or cause you to squish or mangle the tomato trying to pierce through the skin.
Slice 6 oz of the “cilienge” mozzarella balls lengthwise, and toss them into the bowl. Stir to combine the corn, tomatoes and cheese.
Grab a separate small dish or the dressing. Combine 3T white wine vinegar, 4T olive oil, 1/4t salt, 1/8t black pepper and 1/8t sugar. Wisk ingredients together until fully combined.
Pour the dressing into the corn mixture and stir.
Right before serving, add 3T of shredded basil ribbons into the salad and give it a good stir (see my favorite method to chiffonade basil above). You can sprinkle a few extra basil ribbons on top for a garish as well.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in fridge for up to 3 days.
Field corn (sometimes called maize) is corn raised for animal consumption and other things like ethanol and some processed foods. Sweet corn has a higher sugar content so it is sweeter in taste. It is grown for human consumption.
Yes, but make sure it is completely thawed and pat it dry of any access liquid. You don’t want the liquid to water down the dressing on the salad.
Nope! Do not cook the corn for Caprese Corn Salad. We want it fresh and crisp.
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Caprese Corn Salad
- 1 large bowl
- 1 angel food cake pan (optional)
- 1 sharp knife
- 1 serrated knife
- 6 ears of corn large
- 1 cup grape tomatoes
- 6 ox "cilienge" mozzarella balls (like these)
- 3 T white wine vinegar
- 4 T olive oil
- 1/4 t salt
- 1/8 t black pepper
- 1/4 t sugar
- 3 T fresh basil shredded (see method in post)
- Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels off the cob (see my recommended method in body of post), and add to a large bowl.
- Using a serrated knife, slice 1 cup of grape tomatoes in half the long way and add the to the bowl of corn.
- Slice 6 oz of the "cilienge" mozzarella balls lengthwise and toss them into the bowl. Stir to combine the corn, tomatoes and cheese.
- Grab a separate small dish for the dressing. Combine 3T white wine vinegar, 4T olive oil, 1/4t salt, 1/8t black pepper and 1/8t sugar. Wisk ingredients together until fully combined.
- Pour the dressing into the corn mixture and stir.
- Right before serving, add 3T of shredded basil ribbons into the salad and give it a good stir (see my favorite method to chiffonade basil in body of the post). You can sprinkle a few extra basil ribbons on top for a garish as well.