This colorful Spring Salad with Roasted Corn, Tomatoes and Manchego is packed with flavor. It’s simple, healthy and perfect for lunch or dinner.
Love this recipe? Sign up for the ZagLeft email subscription and never miss out again! As a special thank you, you will also get our FREE ebook, College Meals – 30 Days of Recipes. There is a restaurant in our city that my husband EJ and I love to visit. It’s a South American grill that serves some of the best tacos and fajitas I’ve ever eaten. Although I love both of these dishes and often rotate between the two, I decided one day to try one of their delicious sounding salads…and I’m so glad I did! I ordered their Spring Salad, which was served with sweet roasted corn, diced tomatoes and creamy Manchego cheese and it’s now my new favorite item from their menu.
I’m a creature of habit. Once I find something I love to eat at a restaurant, I order it every time. This simple Spring Salad is not only pretty to look at but the flavors are so perfect together. It’s served with a creamy vinaigrette on the side, but I rarely ever use it. The salad really doesn’t need dressing. There’s a healthy mix of flavor already there for me.
When I make this spring salad for guests at home, I prepare a simple, light balsamic vinaigrette and drizzle it over the top. A good vinaigrette recipe is an important recipe for all home cooks to have. Luckily, it’s as simple as combining olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper. Whisk all of the ingredients together and you’ve got a vinaigrette. The recipe is flexible so adjust the ingredients to suit your tastes. I’ve listed the ingredients in the recipe box to yield 1 cup of balsamic vinaigrette. I keep my vinaigrette in a jar on my counter to use throughout the week on salads and you might want to do the same. However, if you want to make a small amount of the vinaigrette, just remember to keep the ratio, 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar.
The star of this spring salad is the grilled corn. Corn is so easy to grill and can be done in 8 to 10 minutes. There’s something completely wonderful about the taste of grilled corn. It’s sweet and flavorful and I love both the look and the taste of the caramelized kernals. To grill the corn, just brush husked corn with oil or butter, place it on the grill and grill it over a medium high heat, turning periodically, until lightly charred.
At home, I usually use a mixture of Arugula, Romaine and Baby Spinach. To the lettuce, I add tomatoes, the roasted corn and Manchego. The warm, charred corn is perfect alongside the Manchego. Sometimes, I’ll grill chicken breasts or a steak, thinly slice the meat and add it to the top of the salad too.
Are you familiar with Manchego? Manchego is a delicious Spanish cheese produced in the La Mancha region of Spain and made of sheep’s milk. It’s got a firm, buttery texture and is delicious, especially when served with the corn. If you can’t find Manchego, you can easily substitute Monterey Jack or Asiago cheeses.
Simple ingredients in this spring salad, yet it’s so full of flavor. This bright salad is perfect to serve in the coming warm months.
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- 4 ears of corn shucked
- Oil or butter
- 3 handfuls of spring mix
- 1 cup cherry grape or diced roma tomatoes
- 1/2 cup cubed Manchego Cheese
- CUP FOR THE VINAIGRETTE - MAKES 1
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- TO GRILL THE CORN
- Heat a grill to medium high.
- Remove the husks and pull off the silky threads. Rinse the ear in cold water. Pat dry.
- Brush corn with oil or butter.
- Place on the grill and cook, turning, until lightly charred, 8-10 minutes.
- TO PREPARE THE SALAD
- Cut the kernals off the cob, cutting close to the cob. Place in a bowl.
- Add in the remaining ingredients. Drizzle vinaigrette over the top. Toss to coat.
- TO MAKE THE VINAIGRETTE
- Combine ingredients together with a whisk or a fork.
This recipe for a simple vinaigrette is a basic recipe that is a good one to keep. Simply combine olive oil and vinegar, a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper. Taste the vinaigrette as you make it and add extra salt or pepper if necessary. The standard ratio for vinaigrettes is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar, so if you don't want to make a full cup as this recipe suggests, use this ratio as your guide.