So I’ve always said that I’m a winter person. That I love cold and snowy weather, that I can’t wait to move back to a place where we can count on getting snow several times a year.

We moved to Louisiana 4 years ago last month and I was fully expecting semi-tropical weather year-round, that I would never need a jacket; heck, I probably would never even need pants (I would wear shorts, all of you dirty-minded smart alecks out there). When our plane left Salt Lake City, it was 9 degrees and the wind was blowing our faces off, so yes, when we landed in Louisiana, the balmy 42 degrees felt positively tropical.

And then I realized that just like humid summers aren’t the same as arid Utah summers, humid cold is completely different as well. It’s like living in a basement all the time in the winter. Your blankets feel kind of damp and cold all the time. It seeps into your bones. And, at least in my particular neck of the Louisiana woods, it is rainy and dreary with no leaves on the trees, but no snow to cover up the ugliness. And I decided that in spite of the fact that even though not SO cold that I have to wear pantyhose here (usually), winter is not really my favorite season. No matter where I am.

Until this winter. It’s February and we’re hitting the 70+ degree mark on a fairly regular  basis. It’s been plenty rainy, but plenty sunny and breezy as well; it’s kind of like spring that’s been going on for 3, almost 4 months. Yes, this probably means we’re in for a summer sponsored by the Prince of Darkness himself, but until then, I am grilling and eating summer produce and pretending that it’s not the dreariest month of the year. Because it’s not dreary at all–this has been the best winter in my whole life. Not being over-dramatic at all.

Between my unseasonable cooking and the fact that I’m on a Mexican food kick (which will continue on Friday…can’t help myself), this corn salad has been right up my alley. And by “salad,” I mean something that you can eat with your favorite grilled Mexican food or tacos or a spoon straight from the source, as well as “salad,” which is a word we sometimes give marinated grains and vegetables so we can feel better about ourselves when we eat them on tortilla chips. Which I totally recommend here.

You’ll need 4 cups of fresh or frozen corn (it’s about 8 cobs of corn or 2 12-ounce bags), 1 large chopped red bell pepper, 1 small minced red onion, a jalapeno pepper (seeded if you’re watching out for the heat, although there’s so much going on in this salad that even if you’re cautious, you might want to add a few seeds), 8 ounces of crumbled queso fresco or cotija cheese (you can use crumbled feta if you’re having a hard time finding the other two), about 6 ounces of our Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette, a seeded, cubed, and peeled avocado, and some kosher salt and black pepper to taste.

Bring about 1 inch of water to a boil in a large stockpot. When it’s boiling, add the corn and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain and rinse and then place the corn in a large bowl.

Add the minced onion, chopped red and jalapeno peppers, and crumbled cheese.

Drizzle the dressing over the salad. Taste. Add a little more dressing if necessary. Determine that you’re going to need a larger bowl and transfer the salad to said bowl. Realize all the bowls you’ve used and discarded are going to have to be hand-washed because they’re not going to fit in your dishwasher. Kick yourself for lack of foresight. Refrigerate your large bowl of salad until ready to serve.

Before serving, add the cubed avocado and toss gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

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  1. Mmm that looks delish! And bring on the Mexican food, I could eat it everyday and not get sick of it. I love it so.

  2. This would probably go well with your Brazilian lemonade which we drank for dinner last night and I absolutely loved.

  3. “Yes, this probably means we’re in for a summer sponsored by the Prince of Darkness himself”…exactly what I’m afraid of. And plenty of hurricanes. And I’m having this baby in August.
    This looks so delicious to me right now.

  4. We are having a very mild winter in VA, too. While I am loving being able to exercise outside and letting the kids jump on the trampoline all winter, I’m a little worried about how many bugs we are going to have this summer since there hasn’t been a deep freeze to kill some of them off.

    Corn salad looks amazing. I like anything with queso fresco. It looks like the kind of thing some people would try to pass off as a salsa and I would want to just eat it with a spoon so I’m glad you called it a salad instead!

  5. I never liked the cold when I lived in Utah. Here in ATL, the winters are usually mild. I’m definitely ready for spring and will have to try this salad.

  6. I’ve been craving queso fresco lately ~ how did you know??! This recipe looks healthy and delicious. Makes me think of summer, even though we are expecting snow later today!

  7. Love this salad. Can’t wait to try this version! Even here in Utah the mild winter has been a blessing for this California girl. I appreciate the insight into life in the south– my kids’ very favorite kindergarten teacher moved to your area last year (Nicole D.–maybe she’s in your ward?) and my daughter is always wondering what it is like there–she has the crazy curiosity about all things Louisiana. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Yum! Corn salad is one of my favorite summer sides, especially with fresh garden corn if I can get it. Lovely colors!

    We may not have quite the intensity of the humidity here in Georgia that y’all do in Louisiana, but we feel your pain! I’ve been increasingly worried about what’s going to happen in March, thanks to the super-mild temperatures – not that I’m necessarily complaining about 70F!

  9. I know all about those Louisiana winters (and summers) and I miss them terribly. Of course, a giant bowl of that amazing corn salad could certainly help with my homesickness. Thanks for the stories and wonderful recipes!

  10. I am on-board! This would me the perfect salad….and I would take your recommendation about adding chicken! An all-in-one meal!

  11. I totally agree with you about the humid cold. It’s way worse than dry cold. I’m in Houston, and even though it is 60 degrees outside, Im all bundled up in my warmest clothes and I’m still cold. And I’m not a wimp! I grew up in Montana. I love you guys, you have made cooking fun again!

  12. Today’s “salad” sounds delicious. I am going to have to get the ingredients and make some. It reminds me of a salad people always ask me to bring when we are having several couples for supper at a friend’s house and for all family gatherings. It is called Shoepeg Corn Salad. You get as many cans of shoepeg corn as you will need for the size of the crowd. At times I use 2 cans and sometime I use 4 cans. Skin and seed a cucumber and cut the pieces into tiny little parts. Take a tomato and cut it into tiny pieces. Put all of this together and give it a stir. Then I add as much mayonnaise as necessary to bind it together. This is good for a few days if there are any leftovers, but I guess it is the cucumbers, but it will make water in the bottom of the bowl so I just drain that off. We salt and pepper to taste individually. Talk about good. I am not far from Shreveport down in Sabine parish and we really haven’t had a winter this year. Lots of rain and gray days, which I hate, but not like we have some winters. Just a word of caution depending on where you live – buy a gas operated generator when you see one on sale. In north Louisiana when we have an ice storm or if a hurricane comes up around us, we can lose power for up to 8 days. If that happens, you lose everything in your freezer. We are lucky in that we have a gas range alongside an electric stove so we are able to cook, but our friends are all electric and cannot even warm a can of soup. Just saying…

  13. Yum! When we have summer in Oregon, hubby and I live on a similar salad: using sweet corn, diced tomatoes and cubed avocado in abundance, and adding finely diced jalapeno, onion, jicima (love that slightly-sweet crunch!) and red or orange bell pepper. Dress with lime juice, salt and pepper to taste and presto! – perfect on its own, with chips, or as a side to a lovely grilled steak.

  14. We make almost this same salad (always with feta, but I am excited to try the other cheese your suggest) but we make it grilled corn to give it a little extra bite. DELISH if you get the chance to grill up an extra 10 ears of corn one night (we let the grilled corn cool over night in the fridge and then de-cob it the next morning to make the salad. There are never any leftovers!

  15. Good night. That looks SO GOOD. I think I’ll make the full recipe then just grab a spoon. It only serves one, right?

  16. This was so good! Thank you Kate! My onion was more like medium to large, rather than small, so I accidentally put too much onion in. But other than that, it was really delicious!

  17. Just mixed this up to marinate as a side with black bean burgers for dinner tonight and I couldn’t keep my spoon out of it so I can’t wait to taste it after it sits for a while. I used red and green peppers, pickled jalapeno instead of fresh, left out the onion, and used frozen white corn and can’t wait to mix in some lovely avocado with it tonight and stuff my face. Can’t wait to have the remaining dressing on a salad, it’s like cilantro lime crack.

  18. I made this over the weekend to eat with Chicken taco and I have to say it was AMAZING! I actually made myself sick I ate so much 🙂 Thanks for another AMAZING recipe! <3

  19. Hi! It’s ok if I use corn from the can, right? I believe is sweet corn (the one in the can). But I think is the same cause is yellow corn.

  20. This was amazing!!! I added black beans too and it came out great. I also tossed in more lime juice to keep the avocado from browning as quickly.. we added it onto fish tacos and ate it as a side… delish! Thanks for the recipe!!

  21. JUST made this awesome salad and I could eat the entire bowl!!!! I used the Cotija cheese and loved it. ALSO, I am keeping the chees,and vinagarette seperate in different enclosed dishes and will chop and add the avacado when I want a bowl, that way it will last longer.

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