Tomato Corn Salad with Avocado and Buttermilk Dressing
Whether your grill, sautee, or boil the corn, you're only thirty minutes away from this delightfully sweet and flavorful summer salad. Traditional tomato corn salad is typically tossed with a vinaigrette, but I'm shouting out to my southern roots by tossing this version with creamy, tangy buttermilk dressing. A little goes a long way, but the flavor is unmatched.
Heat a grill over high heat. Place the corn, with husks intact, directly onto the grates. Grill the cobs for 20 minutes, turning a quarter of a turn every 5 minutes, until the husks are charred. Remove the corn from the grill and set aside to cool slightly.
Make buttermilk dressing. Combine the buttermilk, sour cream , lemon juice, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the garlic is pulverized and the dressing is smooth and frothy, about 30 seconds. Add the chopped chives until pulse 3-5 times. Taste for seasoning and adjust additional sour cream (if too tart), lemon juice (if too rich), or salt and pepper as needed.
Slice the kernels from the cobs. Combine the corn kernels with 1/4 cup buttermilk dressing. Add the tomatoes, avocados, cucumber, onions, and basil, and toss to combine, adding up to an additional quarter cup of dressing. Serve immediately, or chill and serve cold. Leftovers keep for up to 2 days in a tightly sealed container in the fridge.
No grill? No problem! Alternatives for cooking corn cobs for this salad:
Boiled: remove the husks and silks from the corn. Drop the whole cobs into boiling water, cover, reduce the heat to medium to maintain a simmer, and boil for 5-7 minutes, until the corn is tender but still bright.
Sautéed: slice the kernels from the cob. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium low heat until shimmering. Add the kernels and sautee, stirring frequently, until the corn is tender, but not soft, about 10 minutes.
Raw: Skip the cooking entirely and make this salad with raw kernels! Simply slice the kernels from the cobs, and proceed with the salad.
You'll have additional dressing remaining. Store in the fridge for up to two weeks, and use to dress green salads or as a dipping sauce. The dressing quantities may also be halved.