With just a few ingredients, Apple and Corn Salad is one of those great tasting recipes that gives you lots of bang for your buck! This was oftentimes served with potato salads and chicken for Sunday night supper!
APPLE AND CORN SALAD
What can I say to entice you to make this Apple and Corn Salad? Let’s see – it’s cheap, it’s easy, it’s delicious, it’s fast, and it’s going to be your favourite salad as soon as you taste it! To be perfectly honest, it’s hard to describe the flavour combination of corn and apples. It’s certainly not a common pairing, but it just works so well!
I cannot tell you where this salad came from, but I can tell you that it’s a very popular side dish in Newfoundland. My mom used to make this salad often, but not quite as often as other moms used to make it. In fact, I would wager to guess that she made it no more than four times per year.
My mom would always make her version with peeled diced apples. But, I like to leave the peel on. I think it just adds more texture and it’s also more colourful. Also, mom always used canned corn. You can use canned corn, just be sure to drain it well. Or you can use fresh or frozen corn. Just cook it first and then let it cool fully before preparing the salad.
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THE COLD PLATE
In some very traditional Newfoundland homes, the Apple and Corn Salad is prepared almost every Saturday and eaten on Sunday. It usually accompanies the traditional Newfoundland Cold Plate dinner. I’ve talked a bit before about the Cold Plate, but have not yet posted the meal in its entirety here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen. You see, the Cold Plate is a meal that consists of a good six to eight separate recipes.
There’s always a main, such as turkey – mostly for special occasions – or a chicken. Some families prefer to have a beef roast with it. Then, there’s usually a macaroni or pasta salad with it, and a coleslaw as well.
It’s really not a Cold Plate, in my opinion, unless it’s served with three different types of potato salad. I have previously posted all three of those traditional potato salads here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen. There’s the Mustard Potato Salad, the Beet Potato Salad, and my personal favourite, the White (or Vegetable) Potato Salad.
EVERY SPECIAL OCCASION TOO!
For special occasions, there will most likely be a stuffing as well – one that was prepared inside the turkey. But on a regular Sunday, which is when my mom would serve Cold Plates for dinner – like every single Sunday! – there wouldn’t be a stuffing.
Most of the time, there was a jello salad too, but I wouldn’t be caught dead eating that, so my plate was always void of anything made with jello. But, sometimes there was a few leaves of iceberg lettuce and a slice of tomato. Right on top of that there was a slice of black forest ham that had been rolled up and skewered with a toothpick.
Doesn’t that all sound delicious and colourful? The Apple and Corn Salad would always be a part of our Cold Plate dinner on special occasions, which always and without fail, included Christmas day, New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Easter. Those were the big food days in 1980s and 1990s Newfoundland.
Now, though, you don’t need a special dinner to enjoy this Apple and Corn Salad. It’s great served cold right out of the fridge with fried chicken. Think of this salad as a dish you would serve in any instance you would coleslaw or potato salad. Like a big summer picnic or barbecue!
Or, if you’re like me, in the middle of winter or whenever the craving hits you. After all, life is too short to just wait for special occasions! Can I get an amen??
INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO PREPARE THIS RECIPE
The following is a list of the ingredients needed to prepare this recipe. For exact amounts and measurements, refer to the printable recipe card located near the bottom of this post.
- Apples – You will need two large apples. Try to use apples that are slightly tart rather than sweet.
- Lemon Juice – I always say that fresh lemon juice is best and in this case, it couldn’t be more true! Bottled lemon juice has its uses, but in a fresh salad is not one of them!
- Corn – You can use fresh corn that is cooked and cooled, or frozen corn that has been blanched in salted water, or can corn that has been well drained.
- Mayonnaise – You can save some calories by using a low fat mayonnaise here. Do not be tempted to use miracle whip or salad dressing – it is NOT the same thing!
- Salt & Ground Black Pepper
- Sugar – Optional
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HOW TO MAKE APPLE AND CORN SALAD
Are you ready to be amazed? This recipe is so easy, it is almost a shame to call it a recipe! Once the ingredients are ready to go, it’s a breeze. Here’s how I do it.
Decide which corn you are going to use. If using fresh corn, cook it the way you normally would. Allow it to cool and cut it from the cob. In the case of frozen corn, add the corn into the boiling water and blanch it for 2-3 minutes. Get it out of the boiling water and into an ice bath to cool. This is all explained in more detail below. Canned corn is the traditional way to go. You will need five cups of corn, which is about 4 cans of corn. Drain the corn well, but do not rinse.
Next, dice the apples into half inch cubes. You can remove the skin if you prefer, but I like it left on. Not only does it add texture, but it adds colour too. Get the apples into a bowl and add the lemon juice immediately. Toss the apple pieces very well to ensure that each one is coated with the lemon juice. This will prevent browning.
Add the cooled corn, mayonnaise, salt, ground black pepper, and parsley to the bowl of apples. (If you like a sweeter salad, add in the sugar. Traditionally, this salad is always prepared with a little bit of sugar.) Toss well to coat. Transfer the salad to a food-safe container with a tight fitting lid. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours before serving. This salad can be made a day in advance. Toss well before serving.
THE BEST APPLES FOR THIS SALAD
Because of the fact that corn and apples are sweet, I do not add sugar to my Apple and Corn Salad. I remember my mom making this salad often and she always added a tablespoon of sugar to the mixture. It was never overly sweet and always delicious. Now, however, I find it to be too sweet for my liking, so I omit the sugar completely.
Corn is sweet, which is why I also like to use an apple that is not sweet, but slightly tart. They both balance quite well, especially with the creaminess and saltiness of the mayonnaise. An overly tart apple, like a Granny Smith, is just too sour. If I were using a Granny Smith apple, I would certainly add the tablespoon of sugar!
Apples varieties like Pink Lady, Braeburn, McIntosh, Empire, and Cortland apples, tend to lean towards the tart side. Our favourite eating apples are both the Pink Lady and the Fuji apple, so in most cases, those are what I will use in this salad.
WHAT IS BLANCHING?
As an FYI, or a public service announcement, allow me to introduce you, the home cook, to the term blanching. Contrary to popular belief, blanching does not describe the act of playing the role of Blanche on the Golden Girls. Nope, no matter how badly you want to be her and look for any excuse to take on her persona, in the culinary world, blanching does not refer to adopting a southern accent, dressing provocatively, having loose morals, or using your sexuality to get what you want.
Blanching is a cooking process where food, usually a fruit or a vegetable, is submerged in boiling water and left to partially cook for a just a minute or two. In essence, by blanching a vegetable, you are doing so to partially cook it, remove any strong taste or odours, such as in cabbage or onions, and to revitalize the vegetable and bring back its bright, vibrant colour.
Bring the water to a rolling boil, add the vegetables and push them down into the water. After a minute or two, remove the vegetable and immediately plunge them into a large bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking process. In fact, the colder the water, the better the result. Fill a large bowl half way up with water and then add a bunch of ice. When you add the blanched veggies to the bowl of water, ideally, there should still be ice floating in there as well. This is an ice bath and is set up before you add the veggies to the boiling water.
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Apple and Corn Salad
- 2 large apples, cored and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 5 cups corn, see notes
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons parsley, fresh, finely chopped
- In a large bowl, toss the diced apples with the lemon juice immediately to prevent the apples from browning.
- Add the corn, mayonnaise, salt, ground black pepper, and parsley. Toss well to coat.
- Transfer to food-safe container and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours before serving.
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