I dreamed up this Blueberry Corn salad days before I made it and was so happy when it lived up to the hype I created in my head. I love the combo of fresh greens with pasta. It’s not quite a pasta salad, but it’s more than a normal salad, ya know? It makes it a filling meal as a main dish, and a great side when paired with protein. Fresh charred corn and blueberries make it perfect for late-summer gatherings, and shaved parm with a dreamy honey-basil vinaigrette load everything in flavor.
Ingredient and Equipment Notes
- Pasta– I originally planned (and photographed) this salad with orzo, which is a pasta that looks a little like rice. Orzo works great, but since I created this recipe, I’ve also made it with orecchiette and I think I like that even better! If you’re not familiar with orecchiette see more explanation below. Mini bowtie would also work great here.
- Greens – Baby arugula adds a lot of flavor to the overall salad and doesn’t wilt as much as other greens. You can also use an baby arugula-spinach mix, which is what you see in my photos.
- Corn– Fresh corn on the cob works best here. In the recipe I’ll show 2 easy ways to char it. If you’re making this off-season and no fresh corn is available, you could use frozen fresh corn. I would avoid canned corn.
- Blueberries – though blueberries are in the title of this recipe and a great pairing with the other ingredients, there are lots of fruits that would also be equally delicious! Diced nectarines or peaches would be great, as would raspberries.
- English Cucumber – I prefer English cucumber because there’s no need to peel or de-seed. I like to cut it length-wise in quarters and then chop.
- Parmesan– Look for “shaved” parmesan for this recipe, which is different than shredded. The large, flat pieces work better as an add-in, adding both flavor and texture to the salad. You could also use a vegetable peeler to shave your own off a wedge of fresh parmesan. You can generally find small tubs of shaved fresh parm in either the cheese section of the deli, or in the refrigerated cheese aisle of the grocery store.
- Seeds– I’ve made this salad with both pumpkin and sunflower seeds and both are great.
The printed recipe provides detailed instructions on how to mix up the Honey Basil Vinaigrette, and also 2 different methods of charring your corn (on the bbq grill, or over a gas stovetop). From there you simply combine all the ingredients and just toss it up together!
This Blueberry Corn salad makes a great side dish, but I also really love it as a main dish, paired with a protein like grilled chicken or steak. I like to drizzle a little extra vinaigrette over the meat- it’s such a fantastic pairing!
What Pasta should I use?
I mentioned I’ve made this recipe with a few different pasta options. Though originally planned for orzo, I think my favorite is actually orecchiette, which translated means “little ear” as you can see from the shape! One of the reasons I love this pasta is because it’s the perfect size to grab a kernel of corn or a blueberry so it creates these great bites as you’re eating. It’s the perfect size for this dish. But if you can’t find orecchiette, don’t let that stop you from making this salad. Orzo works great, as does a mini bowtie or any other pasta shape about that same size.
Make it a meal
Pair this salad with one of the following for a great summer meal!
Smoked Tri Tip Roast
Lemon-Garlic Rubbed Chicken
Fresh Squeezed Lemonade
Easy, Overnight Artisan Bread
Fresh summer (or any time!) salad filled with greens, fruit, charred corn, and hearty pasta. Topped with a dreamy basil vinaigrette.
- 2 ears fresh corn on the cob
- 6oz (1/2 pound) dry orecchiette pasta, orzo or bowtie also work well
- 5oz package baby arugula, or arugula and spinach mix
- 1 cup fresh blueberries, about 5–6 ounces
- 1 cup sliced or chopped english cucumber, about 5oz
- 1 cup shaved parmesan cheese, about 3 ounces
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion, about 1.5 oz
- 3 tablespoons sunflower or pumpkin seeds
Honey Basil Vinaigrette
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (I recommend Bragg’s brand)
1 teaspoon finely minced or pressed garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons honey
1 oz fresh basil leaves, about 2 cups lightly packed
1 cup olive oil, or other oil of your choice
- Make vinaigrette. Place vinegar, garlic, salt, and honey in the jar of a small blender or food processor and process until smooth. Add basil and process until bright green and smooth. With blender running at low speed, slowly drizzle in oil until combined. Place in a mason jar or air tight container and set aside.
- To char corn, shuck outer husk and silk. There are a couple ways to do this, and it’s also a great use for leftover, cooked corn. Method 1: lightly rub corn with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place corn directly on grates of bbq grill over medium heat and rotate as corn turns golden and chars in places. Method 2: Do not coat or season corn- simply place directly on gas stove top with gas turned to medium-low. Watch continuously and do not leave unattended. Use metal tongs to rotate corn or hold over gas as it chars. Set corn aside.
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. When finished cooking, drain and rinse in cold water to cool off. Leave in strainer to continue draining while you prepare the remaining salad ingredients.
- Assemble Salad. In a large bowl, add entire package of greens. Add blueberries, cucumber, parmesan, red onion, and seeds. Add drained pasta. Shake dressing before pouring on, start with about 3/4 of the dressing and add more as desired (I usually use all of it). Toss well, season with additional salt and pepper if desired and serve immediately.
Keywords: salad, blueberry corn, pasta