This charred corn & fig salad with chili fennel vinaigrette has been on repeat in my kitchen for the past few weeks.
Happy Labor Day to everyone celebrating! We are cooking up some flank steaks with chimichurri, making this corn salad, and throwing together a huge appetizer spread as well. I’ll probably make a plum galette, too, because it is so simple and delicious…the perfect holiday dessert.
And how good does this charred corn & fig salad sound!? I promise you it tastes just as good, too. My mom has been requesting it every weekend ever since I created it awhile back, so we have been eating quite a lot of it.
It’s the perfect end of summer side dish to use up all the beautiful corn that’s still out, as well as the figs that are coming into season now. I’ve added lots of different flavors to make this a really intriguing, addictingly good recipe.
Sweet from the juicy figs, smoky from the charred corn, spicy from the red fresno chilis, nutty from the toasted fennel seeds, and salty from the feta cheese.
You are going to love it!
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ tsp fennel seeds
- 1 fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
- 2 red fresno chili peppers, cored and thinly sliced
- kosher salt, to taste
- 8-10 ears of corn
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- ¼ cup safflower oil (or any other neutral-flavored oil)
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 pint figs, diced
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- microgreens (optional)
- 1. Preheat a portion of the grill over high heat and another portion over low heat.
- 2. Heat a medium-sized sauté pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the fennel seeds. Let the seeds toast for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
- 3. Add the sliced fennel and chili peppers. Season with a pinch of salt. Cook for a few minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low and let the ingredients continue to cook until tender, golden brown, and slightly crisp, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool.
- 4. Meanwhile, husk the ears of corn and place them directly onto the hottest part of the grill, right over the flames. Let the corn cook on all sides until slightly charred, just a few minutes (watch them closely so they don’t burn).
- 5. Once charred, move the corn to the lower heat and cover the grill lid. Let cook for about 10 minutes until tender. Transfer the corn to a cutting board. Slice off the kernels and set aside.
- 6. Transfer the cooled fennel mixture to a mixing bowl, scraping all of the oil into the bowl as well.
- 7. Whisk in the apple cider vinegar and honey. Slowly drizzle in the safflower oil, whisking continuously until emulsified. Stir in the salt.
- 8. Add the corn, figs, and feta cheese. Stir to combine. Taste the salad and season with more salt if needed. Serve the salad in a large serving bowl and garnish with the microgreens.