Memories of Corn Salsa

The official start of summer is only a couple weeks away and that means corn salsa season! It is going to be 90 degrees in Oakland tomorrow, so I feel like my favorite season has already started. This salsa is what summer should taste like. I guarantee you will be eating this one straight out of the bowl.

When I was growing up, I would go to my neighbors house and sit and watch them making this salsa full of sweet corn studded with red bell peppers, tomatoes, cilantro and spicy serrano chiles. We would then pile it atop blistered flour tortillas topped with melted mozzarella. Moments like these are what made me love food and cooking. A special thank you to my neighbors - Kathy and Dickie - for teaching me how to make this sweet taste of Sacramento summers.

Corn Salsa

This salsa will become your BBQ, picnic or potluck staple. I have been making this salsa since I was 8 years old and whenever I make it, people ask me for the recipe, so here it is! The secret here is a finishing drizzle of really good, fruity extra virgin olive oil. Try Lucero Ascolano (available at The Pasta Shop in Oakland and Berkeley, California).


4 ears yellow corn, shucked

1 red bell pepper, finely diced

3 medium heirloom tomatoes, finely diced

1 serrano chile, seeds removed, minced (if you like more heat, like me, leave the seeds & veins in)

½ cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

juice of 1 medium lime

a drizzle of good, fruity extra virgin olive oil


Over high heat, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add cleaned ears of corn and cook for 3 minutes. Drain ears and rinse under cold water until they are cool enough to handle. Cut kernels off the cob placing them in a large bowl.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the corn and mix to combine. Season with salt to taste. The uses for this salsa are endless - simply serve with chips, mound atop quesadillas, use to adorn a piece of grilled fish...or like I said, eat it straight out of the bowl with a spoon!