charred corn salad with spicy cilantro vinaigrette / by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

the thought of changing my last name was never a big deal for me.  i think it's rather romantic to share a name with the one you love.  but it was something i hadn't given much thought to.  over the past couple weeks, as i slowly wrapped my head around this whole marriage thing, i have given a lot of thought to not having the same name i grew up using.  it made me think about how much i love my name, and how special a name can be.  it is something that really identifies us - how we identify ourselves, and how others identify us.  to me, my name is not only is an identifier of myself, but my family, my extended family even.  names can also be something that solidifies and bonds individuals together.  not to say that names are the only things that bring us together, there are many other many other significant forces that drive relationships and bonds with one another.  but, if given enough thought, the severity of a name is something pretty cool and powerful.  i definitely see it as perhaps one thing i own; something that  is inherently mine without the cost of anything monetary.  

i'm not sure what category corn falls under.  it is certainly a versatile vegetable.  one that lends itself to both the sweet, and the savory.  whatever category it belongs to is besides the point.  freshly picked, sweet, crisp, crunchy, corn.  i would say that fresh corn is perhaps one of my favorite summer veggies.  i have fond memories of family bbqs, eating burgers, hot dogs, a big salad, and corn on the cob!  as my dad would get the grill ready, my mom would take day old newspapers, lay them out on the table, and we would peel the ears of corn, layer by layer.  my mom would boil the ears until they were just tender enough to be eaten. then, that first bite! when your teeth sink into the juicy kernels as they pop and crunch in your mouth.  this was the first corn of the season for us two married folk, and it was pretty amazing.  i chose to "grill" the corn on the stovetop for only a few minutes, keeping the crunchiness alive and well, and threw it together with a spicy cilantro vinaigrette.  i chose to leave lettuce greens out this time around, but feel free to throw them in for some extra nourishment.

| serves 2 | 


  • 2 ears fresh corn, grilled
  • 1 large heirloom tomato, chopped small
  • 1/4 of a small red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 of a ripe avocado, cut into small chunks
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, torn into pieces 
  • 1 handful pepitas, toasted


  • 1 small garlic clove (or 1/2 of a large clove) 
  • 1/4 cup packed cilantro
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)



prepare the dressing

  • using a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic with a pinch of salt until you have a paste.  then add the 1/4 cup of cilantro; grind until the cilantro is crushed and fragrant.  in a small mixing bowl, combine the lime juice, salt, chili powder, and cayenne (if using), whisk until combined.  drizzle the olive oil while whisking.  add the cilantro-garlic paste, and whisk again  *if you do not have a mortar and pestle, use a knife and chop the cilantro and garlic together until minced.  alternatively, you could blend all the ingredients in a small food processor 


char the corn

  • because i don't have a grill (or an outside area) i grilled my corn on my gas top stove.  
  • over a low flame, let the corn cook in 20-30 second intervals.  using tongs, turn the ears of corn to cook and char evenly - you should hear a crackling sound (this is normal)  and smell the corn cooking.  cook until all sides are browned in spots
  • if using a grill, the same technique applies


  • once the corn has cooled, stand it upright.  using a sharp knife, start from the top of the ear and cut straight down to dislodge the kernels from the cob.  rotate and repeat on all sides of the ear
  • in a large bowl, combine the corn kernels, chopped tomato, sliced red onion, chunked avocado, toasted pepitas, and torn cilantro, mix until combined
  • using a spoon, dress the salad with the vinaigrette to your liking