Corn Salad with Tomatoes, Feta, and Herbs

Overhead view of Corn Salad with Tomatoes, Feta, and Herbs

I had never eaten fresh raw corn until I tried Mark Bittman’s iconic (in my world, at least) corn salad with tomatoes, feta, and mint. As a young cook, I didn’t even know that eating raw corn was possible. 

Oh, is it ever.

Close-up side view of corn salad with tomatoes, feta, and herbs

Turns out, in-season (ideally local) sweet corn does not need even a whiff of heat to become deliciously edible and deserving of a place in your summer side dish rotation. It doesn’t really need an accompaniment, either, as I’ve found gnawing on raw kernels from the cob that didn’t make it into the bowl. But in order to make this a proper corn salad recipe, tomatoes and fresh herbs— corn’s summer siblings— are a natural fit. 

My family can easily eat this with nothing other than a spoon and a bowl, but it’s excellent tossed with beans, rice, or pasta— just add more seasoning as needed. It’s also great tossed in arugula for a fresh, colorful summer salad.

Why this corn salad recipe works:

  • It’s important to use the best in-season produce you can find, as they are the star of the show. If you’re reading this in the winter, I suggest you leave now and try this recipe instead
  • Use a variety of tomatoes if you can, preferably a mix of shape, size, and color. It makes the salad a bit more interesting, but I’ve made this with regular supermarket tomatoes plenty of times.
  • Try to find feta cheese packed in brine; it’s much juicier and creamier than the vacuum-sealed or pre-crumbled stuff
  • The recipe calls for 1 cup of fresh herbs, which will vary depending on whether you pack them in that cup or loosely collect them. Pack ‘em in if you really love herbs (as I do), they’ll shrink when you toss them in the oil and lime juice.
  • The amount of acid needed will depend on how juicy your tomatoes are; heavy, ripe tomatoes will need less lime juice than, say, supermarket grape tomatoes.

Let’s make corn salad with tomatoes, feta, and mint

In a large bowl, toss the corn kernels with the tomatoes, feta, and herbs.

Tomatoes, feta, herbs and corn in a silver bowl

Season with olive oil, lime juice, red pepper flakes (optional, if you like a little bit of spice), and salt and pepper.

Tossed corn salad with tomatoes, feta, and herbs with lime juice in a silver bowl

Taste and add more olive oil, salt, or pepper as needed. If you’d like a little bit more acid but you’ve run out of limes, you can squeeze in some lemon juice or red wine vinegar. 

Tossed corn salad with tomatoes, feta, and herbs in a silver bowl

More summer side dish ideas:

Corn Salad with Tomatoes, Feta, and Mint

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Side Dish American
By Samantha Serves: 4
Prep Time: 45 minutes Total Time: 45 minutes

Fresh raw corn, juicy in-season tomatoes, creamy feta, and fresh herbs like basil and mint make this recipe— hands-down— the official salad of summer.

Ingredients

  • 5 ears corn, shucked, kernels removed (about 4 cups of kernels)
  • 2 cups any kind of tomatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup fresh tender herbs (such as mint, basil, or a combo), torn or chopped
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

1

In a large bowl, toss the corn kernels with the tomatoes, feta, and herbs. Season with 2 tablespoons of the extra-virgin olive oil, the lime juice, red pepper flakes (optional, if you like a little bit of spice), and salt and pepper.

2

Taste and add more olive oil, salt, or pepper as needed. If you’d like a little bit more acid but you’ve run out of limes, you can squeeze in some lemon juice or red wine vinegar.

Notes

Buy an extra ear of corn or two at the grocery store, in case one of them is dry or rotten inside. Speaking from (a very recent) experience, it can be hard to tell if they’re good before buying. If you’re using mint or basil, don’t chop it until you’re ready to serve so that it doesn’t turn brown or wilt.

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