Roasted Corn Salad with Tomatoes and Feta

I have to come clean. Corn has not always been my thing.

It seems like this time of year, everyone is raving about fresh corn on the cob at their late summer/ early fall BBQs, but it’s never really done the trick for me.

Oddly enough, there are many vegetables I would rather have a side than corn. Green vegetables even. Shocking, right?

But then, I discovered the secret key that would let me enter the corn loving club. It is, as with many things, all a trick of preparation.

This corn salad has become a late summer staple for me. It is seriously amazing. The pan-roasted corn brings out an intense sweetness, and the thyme adds a bright, savory note to the acidity of the tomatoes. Top that is feta and freshly picked basil and how could a girl not love this stuff?

This salad is perfect as a side dish, and a great addition to any potluck. Trust me, people will be after this recipe. It’s simple, but packs a of bold flavor punch.

So hello to all you official corn bandwagoners! Can you make room for one more? I brought a dish to share…

Ingredients (adapted from Williams and Sonoma):

  • 6 ears of corn, husks and silks removed
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. coarsely chopped fresh thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 to 3 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil

Directions:

1. Remove the husks from your corn. Hold each ear of corn by the pointy end and steadying its flat base in a large baking dish. Carefully slice down the length of the ear to remove the kernels, rotating the ear until all the kernels have been removed.
2. Set your kernels aside, and heat half the butter and the olive oil n a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. You want it hot, but not burning.
3. Add half the garlic and sauté, stirring constantly, 20 to 30 seconds, then toss in half the corn and stir until the corn becomes golden and the edges start to brown a bit. This is the trick to getting the sweet flavor.
4. Add half the thyme and continue stirring for about 30 seconds. Remove the pan from heat, and pour the mixture into a bowl and set aside.
5. Repeat this process with the remaining half of the butter, oil, garlic, corn and thyme. Transfer the rest of the mixture into the bowl, and let it sit, stirring occasionally, until it reaches room temperature.6. While you wait, combine the halved cherry tomatoes and feta in a separate bowl and season with salt and pepper. Once the corn mixture is cooled, stir in the tomatoes and feta.7. If you’re serving this immediately, chop your basil and stir that into the corn/tomato mix. If you’re making this ahead of time, chop and add the basil right before you serve the dish – this keeps it from getting too wilted. This is also great with a splash of lime juice and a hit of zest!
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