Saturday, June 25, 2011

Tzatziki Corn Salad

A warm welcome to new subscriber Jacqueline!

With summer now in full swing, a lot of food talk naturally turns to cookout-type food. Here’s an easy, delicious side dish for your next backyard gathering or company picnic: Tzatziki Corn Salad.

Corn salads are usually pretty popular, and with good reason: they’re tasty and refreshing to eat, and easy to make, even in large quantities. While the vegetables in them can vary somewhat, the big difference between corn salads often lies in the choice of dressing. For this version, I’m using a tzatziki sauce. While Greece has made countless contributions to western civilization, all that art, mathematics and philosophy pale next to a good tzatziki, a tangy yogurt-and-cucumber based white sauce. Even if you don’t make this corn salad, the tzatziki sauce will be a useful addition to your repertoire. Opa, indeed!

This recipe makes about 6 cups of corn salad.

To make the sauce:

Combine ¾ cup fat free Greek yogurt; ½ medium cucumber (seeds removed), finely chopped; ½ teaspoon kosher salt; 2 garlic cloves, finely minced; ½ tablespoon olive oil; 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar; and either 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried oregano. Set the sauce aside while you work with the vegetable.

The make the vegetable mix:

You’ll need either 12 ears of corn, silks and husks removed, or 4 cups of frozen corn kernels thawed and patted dry with a paper towel. Apply a small amount of olive oil the corn (just enough to lightly coat for grilling), and grille until the corn is lightly browned. (Don’t kill it; you’re just looking to give it a little color and mild grilled taste.) Set the corn aside and let cool. If you’re using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cob after the corn has cooled.

Combine the corn, 4 cups of diced tomatoes (fresh or well-drained canned), 1 finely chopped green or orange pepper, ½ cup of minced onion, and 1 minced large stalk of celery in a large bowl. (Adding some diced, cooked bacon here is optional, but highly recommended.) Drain again to remove any extra liquid so that the tzatziki sauce does not get diluted.

Add the sauce and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. For best flavor, refrigerate overnight to chill the salad and give the flavors a chance to combine. Garnish with parsley before serving, and you’ve got a winner!

As always, if you prefer a cookbook style, notebook-ready version of this recipe, send me a note or a comment along with your e-mail address, and it shall be yours.

That’s it for now. I’m looking forward to sharing another easy, delicious, reduced-fat dish with you next week. Till then, stay well, keep it about the food, and always remember to kiss the cook. ;-)


  1. Thank you, Tawnya and Keri! Hope you enjoy it. :-)

  2. Hey Ben! Looks tasty. I am always looking for side dishes for camping that are quick to put together but much more interesting than a bagged salad (as if I would!). I will have to give this one a whirl.


  3. Thanks, Sandra! I think this might be just what you were looking for. (Just do not forget the bacon. It makes everything better, you know. :-) )

  4. Ben, my husband is from Poland and his mother made the noodles and cottage cheese dish much as we make macaroni and cheese-for comfort.
    I'm happy to have your corn salad recipe since we live in corn country.


  5. Thanks, Bonnie. I figured there had to be an Eastern European connection there. (I am of Russian extraction.) Noodles and cottage cheese is a secret we only share with special people. :-)

    And I hope you enjoy the corn salad!