This vegan fire-roasted corn, poblano + tomato summer salad is brimming with flavor. Juicy grape tomatoes and spicy poblano peppers are coated in smoked paprika and roasted to sweet, tender perfection. Meanwhile, fresh ears of sweet corn are fire-roasted over an open flame until warm and dotted with flecks of blackened char. The fire-roasted corn and roasted tomato mixture are then tossed with zesty red onion, cilantro, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. The result is a super simple summer side dish (or salad) that’s just as flavorful as it is colorful.
There are few things I love more than an ultra flavorful salad bursting with summer’s finest and most vibrant bounty.
With the colorful guidance of seasonal vegetables and herbs, a dish effortlessly bursts into being with little more than a shake of sea salt and black pepper.
And that’s the way it should be, shouldn’t it?
Fuss-free methods delivering the most glorious results…
This flavorful summer salad was inspired by a side dish a friend made during a recent vacation. For 4th of July weekend, Dan and I headed west to meet up with 14 of our closest friends and their respective little ones in Bend, OR for a leisurely five-day stay. It was a great trip filled with lots of laughs, oodles of catchup convos, and plenty of good food.
We knew it would be tricky to dine out with eight couples and four little ones, so most nights we kept things simple and grilled out at the largest of the three houses we had rented for the weekend.
A particularly festive feast was pulled together on the 4th—grilled goods, corn on the cob, juicy watermelon, an arugula + strawberry salad, cookies, apple pie, and the most flavorful and unsuspecting corn salad that my friend Lauren whipped up on a whim. If memory serves, her version included sweet corn, red onion, avocado, lime juice, and spices. It was subtly spiced with a burst of zesty lime juice and just the right amount of sweetness from the corn, and it was the perfect complement to the rest of the spread.
This fire-roasted corn, poblano + tomato summer salad is a play on Lauren’s salad. Fresh sweet corn is roasted over an open flame and tossed with roasted paprika grape tomatoes + poblano peppers, zesty red onion, cilantro, fresh lime juice, sea salt, and pepper. That’s it.
This is one of those special summer salads that proves that simple reigns supreme when fresh and seasonal ingredients are at play.
Fire-Roasted Corn, Poblano + Tomato Summer Salad
- 4 cups grape or cherry tomatoes or a mix of both, halved
- 2 medium poblano peppers, cored, seeded, and sliced into strips
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 6 ears sweet corn, shucked
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- Generous handful fresh cilantro, stemmed and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, to taste*
- 3/4 to 1 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a large rimmed baking tray with parchment paper.
- Add the cherry tomatoes and poblano peppers to the pan, drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle with the smoked paprika and sea salt. Toss to coat and spread out into an even layer across the pan. Roast the tomatoes for 18 to 22 minutes or until they're tender, blistered, and just beginning to turn golden-brown on the edges. Remove from oven and let cool on pan.
- Meanwhile, heat a grill on high and grill the sweet corn until just beginning to show bits of char, rotating every minute or so until desired doneness is reached. Let cool slightly. Then, carefully slice the kernels off the ears of corn. (Grill-free option: gently char the corn over an open flame/gas burner on the stovetop.)
- In a large nonreactive (i.e., non-metallic) serving bowl, combine the roasted tomatoes + peppers, grilled corn, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, sea salt, and black pepper. Toss to coat.
- Taste and season with more sea salt and black pepper, if desired.
- Serve immediately or chill first. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.