Grilled Corn Salsa

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes about

    3 cups

Appears in

Cooking One on One

Cooking One on One

By John Ash

Published 2004

  • About

Tomatoes are only one vegetable that can make a delicious salsa. Here grilled corn and peppers, mild and hot, combine for a complex-flavored salsa with great texture and visual appeal. Grilling the corn adds a smoky flavor, but if you are in a hurry you can skip the grilling, especially if the corn is sweet and tender. Other variations could include the addition of finely diced zucchini or jicama, and cooked black beans or black-eyed peas can be substituted for the corn. Use this just like you would use the Salsa Fresca—that is, almost anywhere! I like it so much that I’ve used it with both salmon and shrimp. This salsa also can double as a side dish for a summer picnic.


  • 3 large ears sweet corn
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut in half, with stem, ribs, and seeds removed
  • 1 medium poblano pepper, cut in half, with stem, ribs, and seeds removed
  • 1 small jalapeño chile
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and halved
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon honey, or to taste
  • cup chopped fresh cilantro or mint leaves, or a combination


Prepare a Charcoal fire or preheat a gas or stovetop grill or broiler. Brush the corn, peppers, chile, and onion with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Place the vegetables on a medium-hot grill and cook on all sides until they just begin to color. Remove from the grill.

When the vegetables are cool enough to handle, cut the kernels from the cob and place in a bowl. (If you cut or break the ears in half, you’ll have a flat surface to hold against the cutting board as you work.) Pull as much of the skin as possible from the peppers, dice them, and add them to the corn. Dice the onion and add it to the corn, along with the lime juice, honey, cilantro or mint, and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Set aside for at least 30 minutes before using to allow the flavors to blend. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.