Once in a blue moon, I sheepishly agree to cook a meal for a talented chef friend of mine named Milli Taylor. Milli is one of those doubly talented individuals who not only makes food that tastes amazing, but her creations look beautiful, too. She always enjoys my salads, and this one in particular—a rainbow salad, as she calls it. She has good taste (it’s also a favorite of mine).–Sabrina Ghayour

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If you make this recipe, or any dish on LC, consider leaving a review, a star rating, and your best photo in the comments below. I love hearing from you.–David

A white plate filled with charred corn salad and a halved lime and bowl of dressing on the side.

Charred Corn Salad

4.72 / 7 votes
This charred corn salad, made with fresh sweet corn, cilantro, tomatoes, hearts of palm, onion, and a spicy Greek yogurt dressing is simple, healthy, and certain to become a staple in your weeknight summer rotation.
David Leite
CuisineMiddle Eastern
Servings4 to 6 servings
Calories145 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes


For the dressing

For the salad

  • 2 ears sweet corn
  • One (14-oz) can hearts of palm, drained, cut diagonally into slices 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick
  • 10 ounces cherry or Campari tomatoes, halved (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced into half circles
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped


Make the dressing

  • In a small bowl, stir together all the ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the salad

  • Bring a large saucepan of water to a simmer. Add the corn and cook until almost but not quite tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Drain.
  • Meanwhile, heat a grill pan or grill over high heat.
  • Add the drained ears of corn to the grill pan or grill and cook, turning occasionally, until charred in places, about 10 minutes.
  • Remove the corn from the heat and let cool slightly. When the corn is cool enough to handle, working with 1 ear at a time, hold it vertically on a cutting board or in the center of a large bowl and, using a sharp knife, cut downward to slice off the kernels.
  • On a platter, arrange the corn kernels, hearts of palm, tomato halves, and red onion. Dab the dressing on top, scatter with cilantro, and serve.
Bazaar Cookbook

Adapted From


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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 145 kcalCarbohydrates: 31 gProtein: 5 gFat: 1 gSaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 1 mgSodium: 77 mgFiber: 3 gSugar: 20 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2019 Sabrina Ghayour. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This charred corn salad recipe was quick, easy, and tasty! My husband and I loved this. Perfect for spring and summer.

I didn’t have harissa on hand, nor the ingredients to make it, so I did some research and found sambal oelek is similar and I used that. It tasted great and packed some heat but was balanced by the tomatoes and sweet corn. Simple and tasty! Loved the flavor profile and it was so fresh.

I did have a hard time to get my corn to char on my stove grill pan. I was a little pressed on time so took it off after I got few marking after about 10 minutes. I would certainly take this to a summer BBQ or potluck.

I had never used hearts of palm before, and wasn’t really sure what they were but I loved them. Great addition to the salad. I used Campari tomatoes. I cut them into quarters and loved them in it. It was a great bit with the slight heat.

I loved this recipe so much! It’s something I wouldn’t normally make and I look forward to it becoming a summer staple.

This is a great, interesting, different salad. Simple to prepare, healthy, and amenable to variations. Very pretty on the serving plate with an explosion of colors. I really like to have vegetable salads that aren’t leaf-based. This would make a wonderful addition to summer cookouts and would probably keep better than most salads for picnics or potlucks.

I used fat-free Greek yogurt since it was what I had on hand and it worked just fine. I prepped the tomatoes, hearts of palm, and onion ahead of time and salted them to season them and draw out some liquid. I poured off the exuded liquid just before adding the charred corn and cilantro.

Not really corn season yet, but I was able to get some okay fresh cobs. Microwaved them for about 4 minutes and they were done enough to move on to the charring step. (Not sure if this would work with thawed frozen corn, but you could probably get some char with a ripping hot skillet or wok if you tried it.)

The dressing was delicious—spicy but not overly so. I suspect you could substitute sliced cucumbers or radishes or sub canned artichoke hearts for the hearts of palm.

All in all a real winner.

This salad was pleasant and easy—my kinda weeknight meal. The charred corn was a nice touch—the sticky kernels were very flavorful.

I’d argue that the hearts of palm didn’t add much; you could add avocado for creaminess instead. Same goes for the tomatoes; they could easily be substituted with red peppers.

I think the beauty of this salad is that it was tasty as is, but there is also room to adjust it to your personal taste. The dressing is quite spicy, so keep that in mind and add less harissa if you’re not a fan of spice. I think it would be a great addition to a summer bbq potluck.

I used store bought harissa

This was such a lovely summer salad! We loved everything about it. It had a vibrant look and fresh taste and will go well with just about anything.

We were grilling ribs so after boiling the corn for 10 minutes, we just threw the cobs on the grill for about 5 minutes to get them charred. It was perfect.

I made 2 dressings as some in the family can’t handle the spice of the harissa. I took 1 teaspoon of the dressing made per the recipe and mixed it with additional Greek yogurt for the second, less-spicy dressing. I used full fat yogurt but I’m sure it would have been just as good with reduced fat.

We will definitely be making this again.

I served this delicious salad at a dinner party and everyone really liked it, especially the surprising kick of harissa in the cool yogurt dressing.

This charred corn salad is visually very pretty and well balanced in flavor and texture. I bought small cherry tomatoes of several varieties and colors.

This recipe comes together quickly (although I did question the need to first simmer the corn versus just charring it). I followed the directions although likely next time will skip the simmering.

This charred corn salad tasted amazing. Plain and simple. I was drawn to this recipe because of my love for corn. I would imagine this tasting even more delicious on a midsummer day with freshly picked corn and tomatoes.

Harissa was a new ingredient for me and I am happy to say it’s being added as a repeat pantry item.

Rather than dot with the dressing I thought it tasted better all tossed together.

I had several ears of corn to use up, and looking on the site, I saw this recipe for charred corn salad, primarily as it looked adaptable to what I had on hand in the fridge and pantry. So I did go a bit rogue with this recipe. My ears of corn were starting to shrivel, so I cut off the best kernels from 4 ears, then roasted them in a dry, non-stick skillet until they were nicely browned and charred. I let them cool in the fridge for about 30 minutes as I wanted a cold side salad. As I didn’t have any hearts of palm, I substituted some leftovers, cold haricot vert that I cut into 1 inch pieces. I tossed them all together with some halved heirloom cherry tomatoes and mandolin-sliced red onion. Then I ever so gently sauced with that wonderful yogurt, lime, and Harissa dressing (I used Mina’s mild brand). It was a nice surprise and was a great side for my roasted halibut and the crispy herbed parmesan potatoes.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 4 stars
    We really loved the salad and was much more creative than our basic everyday salad. We bought Harrisa that was super spicy so we probably quartered the amount of spice in the recipe.

      1. 5 stars
        This was my experience too. So delicious but very spicy. Will make it again and use half of the harissa.

        1. Thanks, Anne. I’m so pleased that you enjoyed it, and so appreciate you taking the time to comment. It seems like the spice level of harissa can vary greatly!

  2. 5 stars
    This was delicious. It actually still tasted great the next day straight out of the fridge – so many salads are squishy the next day. Can’t wait to make it again.