My Year of Adventurous Eating

Grilled Sweet Corn and Poblano Salad June 5, 2011

You could call it a salsa, if you wanted to.

But I call it a salad, because that means I can eat it by the forkful without having anybody judging me for eating a condiment without anything under it.

I know it’s cliche, but what better time to take advantage of all these wonderful summer veggies than…well…summer?

I’m just sayin’!

Now, this recipe really works best if you have a grill.  Preferably an outdoor grill, since things get pretty smoky and hot when you make this inside.

Trust me.  This I know.

So if you could just ignore the grill pan…thanks…appreciate it!

Start by heating your grill over medium high heat.

Grab some onions, peppers, and sweet corn on the cob.  I used a combination of poblano peppers, jalapenos, sweet yellow onion, red onion, green onion, garlic, and two ears of sweet corn on the cob. 

(I may have over -estimated how much onion I really needed by just a teeny bit!)

If you don’t like spicy food, leave out the jalapenos.

If you prefer hatch chilis or bell peppers, use those instead!

I just happen to loooooove the flavor of roasted or grilled poblanos.  Oh mama!

Give the peppers a rinse and throw ’em right on the grill…no need to oil them up or anything.  Oil just creates more smoke.  Which, when you are grilling indoors, is a bad thing.

Not that I would know.

Also, peel your onions and slice them into about 1/2″ thick slices.  Toss those on the grill, along with the green onions and some garlic.  Separate the garlic into cloves if you are grilling inside.  If you are outside just break the bulb in half and peel off the outermost layer of papery skin, then throw them over the coolest part of your grill, then turn ’em often until charred and tender.  Keep an eye on ’em so they don’t catch on fire!

Grill everything, turning once or twice, until all the veggies tender and delicious and have a purty cross-hatch pattern on them. 

It’ll take about 2 or 3 minutes for the green onions and garlic to get lovely, fragrant, and grilled.

The onions, poblanos and jalapenos will take about 10 minutes on an inside grill, maybe 5-7 minutes outside.

If you have room on your grill, husk the corn and toss that on at the same time as all the other veggies.  If you are like me and aren’t allowed to grill on the fire-hazard of a wood deck at your crummy little apartment, and you are having to do all this on your itty-bitty grill pan indoors on an 80º day (not that I’m bitter) , grill ’em up after everything else is done.  It only takes the corn about 3 minutes to warm up and get some nice grill marks on it, which is really all you want!

In the end, everything should be blackened, tender and lovely, with the skin all bubbled up and charred and delicious.

At this point you could toss the peppers in a bowl under a damp towel or some plastic wrap and steam for a few minutes, then peel the skin off.

I chose not to.  Because I thought all that charred loveliness shouldn’t go to waste.  And because I thought it would take too long and I was hungry.  But mostly because I am lazy.

Dice up the green onions, poblanos, jalapenos, and a couple of the grilled slices of onion…about 1 small onion’s worth.  Save the leftovers for another day…if you went way overboard on the onions…like I did.  Please, please don’t be like me!

For less spicy, remove all the seeds and veins on the inside of the jalapenos.  Or leave ’em in, if you like some kick!

Next, halve up some cherry or grape tomatoes. 

Look how fancy I am!  I used red and yellow!

Peel up your super tender, roasty, delicious garlic and mash it into paste, and toss that on top of the tomatoes.

Slice the corn kernels off the cob. 

Now, I’ve seem people turn a small bowl upside down inside a large bowl and balance the corn cob on end on top of the small bowl.  Then, when they sliced off the kernels they all landed right in the bowl!

I am not that smart.  And I made the executive decision that I didn’t want to add that many dishes to my already very full sink.  So I stood the cob up on end right on the cutting board.

About 15 minutes later, I had finally managed to wrangle all the kernels back into the bowl with the tomatoes, and was wishing I’d used the double bowl trick.  If you make this, use the double bowl trick!

Run the back of your knife down the cobs to run out every last drop of sweet, juicy milk and added that to the bowl too.  Mmmmm.  Free flavor!

Squeeze over the juice of a couple of limes.

Those tomatoes and garlic really are in a bowl and are not sitting on a surface right next to a kitchen towel!

These are the hazards of photographing food in a glass dish.

Now, combine all the diced peppers, onions, tomatoes, garlic and lime juice into the same bowl.  Throw in some salt to taste and your Grilled Sweet Corn and Poblano Salad is ready to eat by the shovelful!

Or…orOr!!!  If you are feeling particularly ambitious, grill up some chicken and serve with the salad over some greens.  Sprinkle a little feta (or queso fresco…) over the top and viola!


You won’t need salad dressing.  I promise.

The best thing about this recipe is that you could make the whole thing indoors, any time of the year!  I’ve roasted the peppers and onions under a screaming hot broiler and it came out just lovely…I like to peel the peppers when I do things that way!  I’ve made this recipe with anaheim peppers, hatch chilis, and banana peppers in place of the poblanos.

Use canned sweet corn if fresh corn on the cob is not in season, and skip grilling it.   

Or, for a serious treat, grill up some eggplant and dice that up to add in.  Delicious!

For now, here’s the basic recipe sans photos for your cooking pleasure!

Grilled Sweet Corn and Poblano Salad

2 ears sweet corn

2 small poblano peppers

2 jalapenos

1 small sweet onion

1 bunch green onions

4-5 cloves garlic

8 oz. grape or cherry tomatoes

2 limes

salt to taste

Preheat grill to medium high.

Clean the peppers and dry them thoroughly.  Peel and slice the sweet onion into 1/2″ thick rounds.  Trim the ends off the green onions.  Husk the corn.  Separate the garlic cloves but leave the skin on (or, for an outdoor grill, break the head of garlic in half and remove just the outermost layer of skin.  Throw the whole half onto the grill, then watch it carefully, turning often, to make sure it doesn’t burn!)

Grill all the veggies until tender, charred and fragrant;  About 2 minutes per side for the green onions, garlic and corn, about 3-5 minutes per side for the peppers and sweet onion.

Meanwhile, halve the tomatoes and place in a bowl.  Squeeze the juice of both the limes into the bowl.

Dice the peppers, onions and green onions, and mince the garlic.  Slice the kernals off the cobs, then run the back of your knife over the cobs to remove the milk.  Add everything into the bowl with the tomatoes and lime juice.  Season with salt to taste and stir gently to mix.

Serve over grilled chicken and greens for a delicious, refreshing summer salad!

And NOW, back to business.

I still have room for more at my table for Wild Boar night!

If you would like to join me for an out-of-this-world Italian meal, please RSVP to my previous post (Saturday…an Invitation) in the comments section.

You don’t have to eat wild boar!

But you can if you want to!

And please, please, purty please, join me!  I really want you to be there!  I need you..I do!

There’s still time!

I need a head count by tomorrow at midnight.  Be there!




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