Everything but the Farmer Farmers’ Market Corn Salad

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September 12, 2019
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Tuscan Kale Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
November 19, 2019

There’s still time to lend an ear, grab an ear, shuck an ear, do what you must…to make this peak-of-the-season fresh corn salad that was on the menu at last week’s Summer Harvest Bounty feast. I have shared this recipe before and while it’s a no-recipe recipe, I’ve been ask to fill in some blanks. 

Farmers Market Fresh Corn Salad

Nothing is better than late summer tomatoes and corn. Local farmers here in west Michigan know that I am a bit of a fiend when it comes to sourcing products. I have been known to hit four different markets and source my meal from half a dozen farmers in any given week. So much for reducing the carbon footprint from eating local. Gotta have corn from Ham Family Farm. Arugula only from Grandson’s Garden. (Don’t miss the world’s best $2 pot scrubber from 9-year-old weaver Liam!) Bacon from Creswick Farms (THEY have zero carbon footprint). Organic salad mix with nasturtium blossoms from Summer Blend Gardens. And don’t get me started on Laughing Tree Bakery breads. For the love of all that’s sacred, Charlie and Hilde, make more Elbridge Parmesan Olive bread!! It gets a little competitive most Saturdays.
Fresh Picked CornWith all that commitment to sourcing ingredients, who has time to follow a recipe? Truthfully I am a bit ambivalent about recipes. I think there is nothing sweeter than a well-tested recipe that works every time. They are worth their weight in culinary gold. (I’m talking about salt, people!) However, this time of year and with perfect ingredients, they can get in the way. There are no right or wrong ingredients for this dish. And no right or wrong amounts. What’s in season? What’s picked at the peak of perfection? What sounds good today?? But for those that prefer it, I have updated this recipe to show how I make it. You do you; I’ll do me.

Heirloom Tomatoes

Fresh Corn Salad – Yes, Please!

My go-to must-haves for this corn salad are always the basics – obvs corn and tomatoes. And I almost always include tomatillos. The grilled or roasted tomatillos provide the acid, and the bacon and avocados provide the fat, thereby eliminating the need for a dressing.  It’s a self dressing salad – pure genius!!!  The rest of the ingredients always vary and the proportions are flexible to taste. You can assemble all the ingredients except for greens and bacon well in advance.  Just toss the more fragile ingredients in at serving time and don’t overmix – I love the big chunky pieces of corn cut from the cob. It tells everyone you got your hands dirty.  That makes it taste so much better. What are you waiting for?

Farmstand Basil

As always, check the seasonings. If anything, I usually grab a generous sprinkle of smoked serrano salt. That’s salt and pepper in one-stop shopping – almost as brilliant as the self-dressing salad. Or Maldon salt – my flaky favorite. Fresh cracked pepper. Done.

IF by some miracle you have leftover corn salad, it makes a fabulous addition to a quesadilla.  But more than likely, you too will have a guest that grabbed the serving bowl and polished it off using a giant serving spoon. 🙂

Hey hey hey – I said everything BUT the farmer. 
But anyway here’s my corn guy from Ham Family Farm – always good for a recipe or produce update.

Corn and the Farmer


Everything but the Farmer Farmers’ Market Corn Salad

Farmers Market Fresh Corn Salad

This farmers’ market fresh corn salad is a real crowd pleaser. Serve it when corn and tomatoes are at their peak, or sub out for other in-season ingredients.

  • Author: Katy Keck
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8. 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: American


  • 4 tomatillos, husked and thrown on a hot grill until charred; chopped when cool
  • 4 cobs of corn, shucked, rubbed with a little olive oil, then grilled until a bit of color; cut from the cob
  • 3 scallions, sliced thinly
  • 2 Tablespoons peppadew peppers, or other brined spicy peppers, chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, charred over a hot grill, then sweat and peeled; discard seeds and chop
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 cup halved cherry heirloom tomatoes or chopped larger tomatoes
  • 4 pieces crispy bacon, crumbled
  • 2 cups arugula, whole leaves if small, otherwise coarsely torn
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped


Prepare all ingredients per details above.

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, adding the bacon, arugula and basil when you are ready to serve. Gently stir to toss, keeping the corn chunks intact.

Check seasonings, adding salt and pepper, if needed.


Leftovers are fantastic in a quesadilla or omelette. 

Keywords: corn salad

Everything but the Farmer

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  1. Beth gantos says:

    What a great idea..I love this and secretly have been trying to get some of your recipes for years…you are amazing and thank you for this. 🙂

    • Katy Keck says:

      You’ve been secretly trying to get my recipes about as much as I have secretly tried to steal your mint. Your stolen mint featured in my next post! Stay tuned.

  2. Barb Oyler says:

    I made this last night and it was delicious! I’ll definitely make this again!

  3. Lisa Herman says:

    Yum!! If it’s got corn in it, it works for me!

    • Katy Keck says:

      It’s funny how I don’t like corn in some random places – like in a composed salad in France. Maybe because they used canned corn? But give me fresh corn, just picked, and I am a happy camper.

  4. I can’t wait to try this! Looks delicious!

  5. Brooke says:

    I love this recipe! Finding quality corn on the cob at Manhattan farmer’s market has been a challenge this summer. It’s only white corn which is disappointing. It’s no Midwest corn!

    • Katy Keck says:

      Nothing is better than Midwest corn! We get the sweetest tiny white just-picked corn. But there’s a lot of chunky goodness here so maybe the other ingredients will transport you! Give it a whirl.

    • Dawn says:

      Brooke, I have used frozen organic sweet corn in recipes since fresh non-gmo/organic is hard to come by. Thaw and sauté in just a little butter until browned.

      • Katy Keck says:

        Thanks Dawn! Great tip. I use frozen organic in soups and stews all winter. I do enjoy the fresh cut “stuck together” factor from cut from the cob however. It just screams summer! Thanks for weighing in! Katy

  6. Barb says:

    Made this again Katy. It is a summer favorite!

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