Charred corn slaw with peanut butter lime dressing is an excellent BBQ side and an even better packed up salad for a picnic. Smoky, sweet, fresh, and tangy!
Veggie burgers are great and all, but have you basked in the glory of the SIDES at summer cookouts? I’m a side dish enthusiast with all meals, but especially at BBQ’s. There’s grilled vegetables, potato salad, some type of pasta salad, a gorgeous and colourful leafy green salad, usually a plate of perfectly ripe sliced tomatoes with salt and pepper, baked beans, and a bunch of various dips in the mix too. Cobbling a plate together out of all of this goodness is 100% my dream meal. Maximum variety!
My favourite contribution for a potluck cookout is some type of slaw. From my own personal experience, even self-proclaimed salad haters will often take a scoop of this particular type of veggie goodness. Maybe it just seems less intimidating because the vegetables are finely shredded and are pretty much guaranteed to be evenly coated in dressing (ie flavour)? It could also just be that craving for something cool and crisp on a hot summer afternoon. Whatever the case, the giant bowl that I bring typically winds up empty, which makes this vegan very happy.
This charred corn slaw with peanut lime dressing is a nice little change from the typical mayo-slicked versions that are ever-popular this time of year. It’s still super creamy from a good amount of peanut butter in the dressing (but no added oil!), and the lime gives it a tangy lift. Fresh mint and a rainbow of vegetables take it over the top. Charred corn kernels bring a smoky-sweet edge that combines so well with the peanuts and lime. So. Much. Flavour!
More Summer Corn Inspiration:
- Raw and Vegan Tacos with Corn Salsa
- Harvest Corn Chowder with Beer & White Beans
- Creamy Corn and Lemon Pasta with Thyme
The peanut butter lime dressing gets whipped up in the food processor to get that super lush and creamy texture that we’re after. The two core ingredients in this salad—peanut butter and cabbage—are also just incredibly affordable in addition to being super healthy too. This is feel-good food on all levels! I hope that you give this one a try at your next cookout! It also makes excellent leftovers.
Charred Corn Slaw with Peanut Butter Lime Dressing
Peanut Butter Lime Dressing
- ½ cup smooth natural peanut butter
- 2 cloves garlic, finely grated or minced
- 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated or minced
- ½ teaspoon lime zest
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 6 tablespoons ice water, plus extra
Charred Corn Slaw
- 3 ears of corn, husks and silks removed
- 1 small head green cabbage, (about 2 ½ lbs), cored and finely shredded
- 1 large carrot, peeled into ribbons
- 1 red bell pepper, cored and finely sliced
- 4 green onions, finely sliced
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, finely sliced
- ⅓ cup roasted and salted peanuts, roughly chopped
- Make the peanut butter lime dressing: In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the “S” blade, combine the peanut butter, garlic, ginger, lime zest, lime juice, agave nectar, cumin, salt, and pepper. Pulse the food processor’s motor a couple of times to combine.
- Then, with the motor running, pour the ice water in through the feed tube. The dressing should pale in colour, slightly fluid, but still creamy. Add more water by the teaspoon if necessary. Once it’s at the proper consistency, check the dressing for seasoning and adjust. Set aside.
- Bring a medium-large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the corn to the water and place the lid on top. Boil the corn until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Carefully remove the corn from the pot with tongs and place on a plate.
- Preheat a grill to high. Place the corn directly on the grates and grill, rotating cobs here and there, until char marks appear on all sides, about 6-7 minutes. Remove corn from the grill and place back on the plate, allowing it to cool slightly.
- Assemble the slaw: In a large bowl, combine cabbage, carrot ribbons, red bell pepper, green onions, and mint. Carefully cut the charred corn kernels off of the cobs and add them to the large bowl as well. Pour the peanut butter lime dressing over the vegetables. Add big pinches of salt and pepper and toss to combine the charred corn slaw. Garnish the top of the slaw with the chopped roasted peanuts, green onions and mint.
- You could prepare all of the ingredients up to 2 days in advance. Cut everything except for the mint, place it all in your serving bowl and cover the top. Place the dressing, mint, and chopped peanuts in separate containers. Then, just thoroughly toss everything with a good pinch of salt and pepper at your destination!
- If you don’t have a grill, you can char the corn in either a grill pan or a cast iron skillet.
- My grill grates are well-seasoned cast iron, so I didn’t need to apply any oil to the corn before grilling. If you have regular steel grates, you may have to give them a spritz of oil.