Juicy tomatoes, grilled corn kernels, red onions and cilantro, with a squeeze of lime and just a hint of mild pepper. Simple to make and full of flavor (plan to lick the bowl).
2 ears of fresh corn
2 lbs fresh tomatoes, preferably heirloom and/or a variety of colors, cut into 1/2" - 1" chunks
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 Tablespoon flavorless oil (such as canola)
Juice of half a lime
1/2 cup red onion that has been diced into 1/4-inch pieces
1 teaspoon ground Aleppo pepper (see notes for substitutions)
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
1. Set your grill up for high-heat cooking, brush the grates and preheat with the lid closed. Shuck the corn and grill it directly on the hot grates, turning to char the kernels evenly on all sides, until cooked through. Depending on the heat of your grill, this will take roughly 5-12 minutes. (If you're a newbie at grilling corn, this recipe gives you detailed step-by-step instructions and pictures). Let cool to room temperature.
2. Combine the tomatoes, salt, oil and lime juice in a large bowl, mixing to combine everything. Add the onions and cilantro. Cut the kernels from the ears of corn with a sharp knife, and add them to the bowl.
3. Sprinkle all but a pinch of the pepper over everything, stir again, and taste. Add a pinch more salt or another squeeze of lime if needed. Sprinkle the last pinch of pepper over everything just before serving.
All those tomatoes make a really flavorful juice in the bottom of your bowl. I strongly urge you to serve this with something involving bread, or some other yummy starch that can be used to sop up those juices and enjoy them. (While my kids were looking the other way, I lifted my plate and poured the extra juice directly into my mouth. True story.)
This recipe calls for Aleppo pepper, which is a really wonderful, subtly-flavored chile pepper from Syria. Sadly, it's getting harder and harder to find due to the ongoing violence in that region. If you can find it, count yourself very fortunate, because it's got a unique flavor that is slightly smoky, very subtly sweet-ish, and mildly spicy.
If you can't find it, you could substitute a combination of crushed guajillo or ancho chile along with a pinch of smoked paprika. Another option would be dried, crushed chipotle, or standard crushed red pepper flakes. These last two options are both significantly spicier than the original recipe, so I'd start with about 1/4 teaspoon, and add more to taste as desired.
You can grill the corn up to 3 days ahead. You can store the corn, still on the cobs, in an unsealed plastic bag in the refrigerator. Or you can cut the kernels off the ears on the day you grill them, and store the kernels in a covered container in the refrigerator.