It’s official.  Yes, I am calling it.  SPRING HAS FINALLY ARRIVED!  (And I double checked with Justin Berk, and it seems that is his assessment too.)

The last three days have been glorious, and if you hadn’t fired up your grill yet this year, I am betting many people finally did.  I came to the conclusion that we are going to need a new grill.  Aaahhh, grill season.

Generally, when I grill, I try to have the grill do all the cooking or prep for several meals for the week in one batch.  This is great in the summer months when I know we are going to be at the pool multiple weeknights.  Even though pool season isn’t here yet, the grill did triple duty today.  First up, fire roasting corn.

Maryland corn has barely been planted, so I scooped up the pre-packed, post-husked corn at Costco.  It was entirely out of convenience.  I prefer to buy local corn with the husk on.  It’s a bit nostalgic husking corn out back, but even more, you can throw it right on the grill.  No boiling pot of water.  Today, it didn’t matter so much because the corn had to be husked and was going directly on the grill.

I started out with six ears, and sprayed them with olive oil non-stick spray.  (Use what you have.)  Chef and I have a gas grill, also for my convenience, and shoulder muscles. (There is a story here about my parents Green Egg, and physical therapy, but I can tell you all about that another time.)  Moving on.  Place the ears on a high heat grill.  Turn every three to five minutes until each side is roasted.

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While the corn is grilling, back in the kitchen, I prepped the rest of the veggies.  I started with cilantro.  I prefer to get the herbs outta the way first.  They make a mess, and I really can’t stand the process of picking the herbs, so first for me is better.

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A few years ago, my mom traveled to Alaska.  She brought back a mezzaluna for each of us.  Call your mom now, and ask here to go to Alaska to get you one too.  Just kidding.  Kinda.  I like using this for chopping herbs because I don’t have to pick them.  The stems fall to the bottom.  Here I have cilantro sprinkled with some salt and I just go to town rocking the mezzaluna back and forth.

The second messy task – getting the corn off the cob.  Can you guys tell I like making messy recipes?  Removing the corn is pretty simple.  Hold the corn up right and using a sawing motion with your knife, just go back and forth until the cob is clean.  If you press down with knife, you don’t get the whole kernel off the cob.

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Taste the rainbow.  (It’s not just for Starbursts.)

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Once everything is chopped, you just combine.  I wanted to add avacado too.  Not only is healthy, it has great flavor and texture.  I had planned to use this for a salad “dressing,” and avocado gives a creamy texture.  I wanted to show you the way I diced avocado because this is one of the least messy things I did in the kitchen today.  I cut the flesh while it’s still in the skin, and scoop out with a spoon.  If the avocado is ripe, you won’t have any problem cutting or scooping.

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Here is everything before the mix. I mean, I wish I could have had you all for dinner tonight.

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Mixed and ready to go.  I add lime zest, a squeeze of lime juice and salt to finish it off.
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I made fire roasted corn salsa salads for dinner. So simple.

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The recipe makes a large batch.  I could have easily made two more entree size salads.  Later in the week, I will enjoy it as a quick snack on a bed of greens or rolled up with the leftover steak for dinner. Or on pretzels or tortilla chips.  Or inside a quesadilla.  The options are endless.

Fire Roasted Corn Salsa
6 ears of corn, husks removed
1/2 bunch cilantro, rough chopped
1 red bell pepper, small diced
1 jalapeno pepper*, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, small diced
1/2 pint mixed cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 lime, zest and juice
1 avocado
salt

Preheat grill.  Spray each ear of corn with cooking spray to prevent it from sticking to the grill.  Rotate the ears every three to five minutes until all sides are charred and cooked thru.  (At most 15 minutes.)

While the corn is grilling, clean and chop the cilantro, peppers, onion, and tomato.  Once the corn is able to be touched, cut the corn from the cob.  Combine the corn with the peppers, onion, tomato, cilantro.  Add the avocado.  Zest the lime and squeeze one half of the lime into the bowl.  Sprinkle with salt and mix.  Serve immediately.  (This recipe can be made ahead and will keep for several days in an airtight container, it is best served at room temperature, so be sure to pull it from the fridge a half an hour ahead of serving time.)

*If you prefer a mild salsa, you can easily omit the jalapeno.  Like it more spicy, add more.