Corn, Fennel, and Tarragon Salad

Fresh, sweet corn is beginning to show up in  farm markets already, which means I'm running through a rainbow of corn recipes in my head to try out this summer.  I love fresh corn, and there is nothing like corn cut straight from the cob.  I get pretty annoyed when corn is over cooked and becomes squishy or dried out, so I am always vigilant in making sure that I cook only long enough to bring out the sweetness but keep the kernels crisp.

Corn goes wonderfully with the mild licorice flavors of fennel bulb and tarragon.  Marinated artichokes add tang. This salad is crunchy and refreshing, with bright spring flavor.  It makes a great side to grilled dishes and is surprisingly good with both Carolina barbecue and Texas brisket.  If you want to add some protein, pan seared scallops or shrimp are great additions.  

This punchy recipe will serve 4-6 and will keep its crunch for up to 2 days in the fridge.

For the salad:

2-3 ears fresh corn on the cob, shucked

2 medium fennel bulbs, fronds removed, halved lengthwise, and sliced thin

4-5 radishes, sliced very thin

2 cups fresh snap peas, stemmed

1/3 cup green onions, finely chopped

1 cup marinated artichokes, drained


1. Fill a large bowl of water with enough ice water to cover all three cobs of corn. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Drop in the ears of corn, one at a time, and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the boiling water with tongs and immediately transfer to the ice water.  Let cool for about 4-5 minutes, then remove from the water and drain in a colander.

2.  On a cutting board stand up one corn cob and hold firmly with one hand.  With the other hand cut the kernels from the cob with a sharp knife. Compost or discard the corn cob.

3.  Add the corn, fennel, radishes, snap peas, green onions, and artichokes to a large salad bowl.  Set the salad aside while you make the vinaigrette.

For the vinaigrette:

1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh tarragon

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tbsp. dijon mustard

1/2 tsp. salt

black pepper to taste

1/3 cup grapeseed or light olive oil


1. Whisk together the tarragon, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper until well combined.  Slowly pour in the oil while continuing to whisk until smooth and light colored.

To finish:

Pour the vinaigrette over the salas and toss gently to coat.  Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 days.