Every couple of weeks or so, our little group here in PA has a game night. We’re all pretty big gamers; I personally come from a long line of card sharks. My grandmother didn’t love much more than she loved playing cards. So every once in a while we’ll set up some tables, bring out the paper plates, and call everyone in. I shouldn’t say “we,” as I’ve never personally hosted one, however it’s up to everyone to bring their favorite dish and beverage, so it’s somewhat of a group effort.
There’s always a beautiful cheese plate complete with grapes, nuts and a variety of cheese with crackers. Someone usually brings wings and/or pizza. Someone always bakes a cake. And I usually bring the dip and chips. It’s a hodgepodge of a meal, but that’s the best part about potlucks.
We set up the food, have a couple of bites, then get down to business. There’s always money on the line, which never works out in my favor, but we have fun nonetheless. Conversation, food, music, and friendly competition is really what it’s all about.
This past weekend when the bat signal went out in the form of a group text, I opened up my refrigerator and set to creating something with what I already had on hand. I didn’t have time nor did I want to go to the grocery store on a Saturday afternoon, so I’d have to wing this one. I saw some fresh Summer corn that didn’t quite make it into the weekly dinner rotation, some grape tomatoes that needed to be used, a bell pepper that K was planning on using for a salad until I commandeered it, a couple avocados that were just ripe, and a few of other pantry staples (re: fritos).
For me, nothing is better than fresh, charred corn on the cob in the summertime, so I set to create a charred corn salad-turned-salsa. Minimal cooking, maximum flavor–that’s the name of the game on a Saturday afternoon. Turns out, this throw-together dish was a huge hit. It’s summery, fresh, and bright. There wasn’t a bite left at the end of the evening.
And it’s as easy as turning on your oven and throwing some ingredients in a bowl!
It’s bright, colorful, fresh, and incredibly tasty. The lime juice and the green chilies give it just enough moisture to call it a salsa, and just enough acidity and mild spice.
Creamy avocado, crunchy pepper, juicy tomato, charred sweet corn–this is the perfect combination of texture and because everything is roughly the same size, nothing overpowers anything else. It’s wonderfully balanced.
I served this with salty corn chips but I think it would be just as good as a topping for grilled fish or chicken. Heck, even add it to a burger for a fresh take on a Summer classic. It’s strong enough to stand alone but versatile enough to compliment a whole host of other dishes.
It’s summer in a bowl!
Here’s the recipe.
Charred Fresh Corn Salsa with Avocado
- 3 ears of fresh corn, husked
- 1 small can of diced green chilies, drained well
- 1/2 pint of grape tomatoes, diced
- 1 orange bell pepper, medium diced
- 1/2 yellow onion, medium diced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more if needed
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Mexican spice blend (some version of paprika, chili powder, cumin, cayenne)
- 2 ripe avocados, cubed
- 2 limes, juiced and divided
- Heat your broiler and arrange an oven rack to the highest point. Place your corn directly on the rack and let it broil, turning frequently, until slightly charred. Watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn. Remove corn from the oven and let cool.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine drained diced green chilies, diced tomatoes, diced bell pepper, diced onion, cilantro, salt, pepper, and Mexican seasoning. Add the juice of one lime. Toss to combine. Once the corn is cooled, cut the kernels off the cob and add them to the bowl. Toss again.
- Just before serving, add cubed avocado and top with the juice of the other lime. Toss then taste for seasonings and add a bit more salt if needed. Serve immediately with chips or as a topping for fish, chicken, burgers or a salad!