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Corn salad with avocado and jalapeno brings the zing for summer cookouts

This corn salad includes avocado, pickled jalapeno and cilantro.  (Tom McCorkle/For the Washington Post)
This corn salad includes avocado, pickled jalapeno and cilantro. (Tom McCorkle/For the Washington Post)
By Ellie Krieger Special to the Washington Post

This salad, inspired by the recent arrival of summer corn, is a party of vibrant colors and flavors all mingling happily in one exuberant bowl. I had bought a half-dozen ears one morning, shucking and boiling them all that evening, even though I needed only two for dinner.

Corn’s inherent sugars quickly turn to starch with storage, so it’s tastiest when cooked and eaten as soon as possible once picked. The bowlful of sweet kernels from the remaining ears begged me to invite a confetti of red bell pepper, scallions and slivers of peppery radishes to the summer celebration.

Looking to liven things up with an unexpected kick, I tossed in a smattering of chopped pickled jalapenos. A tangy lime juice and olive oil dressing brought everything together, and with chunks of creamy avocado and a handful of cool fresh cilantro coming in at the last minute, it turned out to be a dish that’s as festive as it is healthful.

While you can make this salad any time of year using frozen, thawed corn, it truly shines with just-picked produce. It will complement just about any grilled protein or salad spread you can imagine, so you’ll definitely want it on the A-list for your next summer gathering.

Corn Salad With Avocado, Pickled Jalapeno and Cilantro

This vibrant salad of sweet corn with a confetti of red bell peppers, scallion, radishes and fresh cilantro gets an unexpected, enlivening kick from pickled jalapenos and a cool, creamy effect from chunks of avocado. While you can make this salad any time of year using frozen, thawed corn, it’s best with peak-of-season produce and will surely shine at your next summer cookout.

And the vegetables may be mixed together and refrigerated in an airtight container up to one day in advance.

3½ cups chilled cooked fresh corn (from about 4 ears or defrosted if frozen)

1 red bell pepper, finely diced

3 medium radishes, sliced thinly into half-moons

¼ cup jarred sliced pickled jalapenos, chopped, or more to taste

1 large scallion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, plus more to taste

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced

⅓ cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped

In a large bowl, toss together the corn, bell pepper, radishes, jalapenos, scallions, oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. The salad can be made up to this point up to one day in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container.

Right before serving, add the avocado and cilantro and gently toss to combine. Taste and season with additional lime juice, if desired. Divide among the bowls and serve.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

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