Corn and Basil Salad

Corn and Basil Salad recipe updated for 2017!

Summer corn salad with basil oil and cherry tomatoes

My sweet friend Nat’s birthday is in May. This year, she had her friends over for dinner and we like to cook together so of course I was over there early. I’d just gone out to Johnson’s Backyard Garden and brought her a big box of produce as a birthday present. Of the many wonders inside the box, the big fat basil bunch was a real stand-out. She also had some corn to cook, among other things. When she turned around to tend to the lamb roast, she left me alone with her coveted mini-food processor and the beautiful basil and a giant bottle of olive oil staring me in the face and before I knew it, basil oil was made. Then there was a conversation like this:

Hilah: Hey, Nat. I made basil oil.

Nat: Oh, good.

Hilah: I think I wanna put it on the corn.

Nat: Oh, good.

That is one of my favorite things about Nat. She always says things are good and if you don’t know her, you might think she is being sarcastic but she isn’t. People have told me the same thing so maybe that is why we get on so well.

Well, the corncobs drizzled with basil oil was a raging success and provided the inspiration for this salad which I had for dinner last night. All of it.

Summer corn salad with basil oil and cherry tomatoes

Corn and Basil Salad


Corn and Basil Salad

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A quick, healthy salad that uses fresh or frozen corn and fresh basil oil

  • Yield: 6 1x


  • 4 ears of corn
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup diced tomato
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves (2/3 ounce weight)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Husk the corn and remove the silks.
  2. Rub each ear with some of the vegetable oil.
  3. Broil on high, 4-5 inches from the heat, turning once or twice, for 10 minutes. The corn will be browned in spots and softened all over. Remove and cool to handle.*
  4. Combine the basil, olive oil, and salt in a blender or food processor and whiz around until smooth.
  5. Cut the kernels from the corn and put in a bowl with the diced tomato.
  6. Dress the salad with the basil oil.
  7. *You can also just drop the corn into boiling water, cover and return to boil, cook for 3 minutes, then remove and proceed.

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  1. cara on September 2, 2011 at 8:05 am

    Holy moly that sounds like heaven and looks so beautiful! I never thought to make basil oil. I think that is a must now.

    • Hilah on September 2, 2011 at 9:40 am

      I hope you try it, Cara! It’s really stupendous. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. thomas on September 2, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Does it go with sardines?
    Seriously, sound delicious.

    • Hilah on September 6, 2011 at 7:56 pm

      I don’t know… what do you think? Probably with some panko-crusted sardines!

  3. Randy on September 4, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    My original plan was to make your corn and basil salad next week to serve alongside chicken caccitore. My plan for dinner tonight was to make Hilah Dinner #1, which for me, consists of two of my absolute favorite Hilah recipes: picadillo (tacos) and zucchini casserole (with the addition of minced jalapenos, this is my new standard sidedish for Tex-Mex meals), but once I got to Central Market and walked past the corn and basil, I switched plans to a Hilah Deluxe Dinner made up of all three dishes. But I started by making the corn and basil salad first, sampled it, and never got around to making the picadillo or zucchini casserole. This is absolutely fantastic!

    • Hilah on September 6, 2011 at 7:53 pm

      That is a great story of dinner plans gone awry and then saved at the last minute by basil.

      I am very flattered to hear about Hilah Dinner #1. 🙂

  4. Great Stone Face on September 8, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    We had this as our side tonight, along with our chicken main dish. It was great.

    • Hilah on September 9, 2011 at 11:36 am

      Yes, it is so good with chicken. Thanks!

  5. Jane on September 2, 2017 at 10:10 am

    Can the basil oil be made and added a day before serving?

    • Hilah on September 3, 2017 at 4:17 pm

      I think that would be fine! It will probably turn a little darker but taste should be the same

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