(Note: this post was originally published on August 11, 2019. It has since been updated with new photos and a couple tweaks).
A Summer Corn Salad for Hot Days
Everyone loves a mojito during the summer, right? Zippy lime juice and fresh mint are an iconic flavor combination. But why should we confine those fabulous flavors to just cocktails? Enter the mojito salad.
This salad features all of summer's best produce: succulent grilled corn, crisp sugar snap peas, refreshing cucumber, and sweet juicy blueberries and peaches. It's all kissed with lime juice and fresh mint for that classic mojito combination. It has been a go-to on our deck and on our picnic blanket for years, and I hope it will be for you too.
This mojito salad has a very specific origin. It was July 4th, 2019, which was a very hot day. We decided to go for a picnic and a swim at the lake, and I figured mojitos would be the right sort of cocktail to bring along for a hot summer evening. On a whim I made a fresh mint salad with the same flavors. Mojitos plus this mojito salad made for the best beach picnic ever!
What is a Mojito?
A mojito is a very classic Cuban cocktail that involves rum, lime juice, mint, and sweetener (usually unrefined sugar). It's a simple summer sip that's easy to make, versatile, and popular. The combination of lime and mint is fresh, vibrant, and perfect for a hot day. That flavor combination also happens to translate beautifully into a salad format.
A Mojito Salad??
Yes it's true, I've turned the classic cocktail into a salad. The mojito flavor enters the salad in the form of a zippy lime dressing and an abundance of fresh mint tossed in with the veggies. Instead of the usual sugar in a mojito, this salad uses a dash of honey (or agave) to bring a hint of sweetness to balance the tart lime.
To echo the mojito vibe, I love to fill this salad with an abundance of iconic summer produce: corn, snap peas, cucumbers, blueberries, and peaches. I then like to finish it off with a big sprinkling of crunchy, buttery macadamia nuts, which work so beautifully alongside the lime and mint.
Mojito Salad Variations
This super-fresh mint salad is very flexible, which is one of the reasons why I keep coming back to it summer after summer. It's great with pineapple or mango instead of peaches. It could easily become a meal with your favorite grilled protein on top. I often add avocado if it's not going to be sitting out for long. You could also add a couple pinches of cumin to the dressing for a more complex flavor profile.
Because all of the ingredients are quite hearty, this is a great salad to take on an outing. It fares well sitting in a container for a few hours, as we've proven many times at picnics and outdoor concerts.
Good news for your summer parties: this summer corn salad works really well as a make-ahead dish. If you want to prepare it the day before, I suggest keeping the dressing and the cut-up veggies and fruits in separate containers and tossing them together before serving. If you want to prepare it just a few hours ahead, you can make the whole salad and just let it sit in the fridge. If possible, leave the macadamias off until just before serving so they keep their crunch.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Here's what you'll need for this summery lime and mint salad, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.
Grilled corn. I love to grill corn outside and then cut the kernels off the cob. If you're looking for a shortcut though, Trader Joe's often sells bags of frozen grilled corn.
Sugar snap peas
Cucumbers. I love baby cukes, but one regular-sized one will work fine too.
Peaches. Or pineapple works great instead and gives this mint salad more of a tropical flavor profile.
Honey. Or sub agave for a fully vegan version. Maple syrup could work too, although it won't make as much sense with the seasonal produce in this summer corn salad.
Salt and black pepper
One final and very important point. If you're loving the idea of turning a classic cocktail into a salad, you'll definitely want to check out my Mint Julep Quinoa Salad, which is another summer go-to in our house. Classic cocktails have such iconic flavor profiles, and I've had such fun trying to repurpose those flavors into a salad format.
Isn't this a fun one? It's so summery, quick to make, really versatile, colorful, and loaded with seasonal produce. It's everything I want in a summer salad. I hope you enjoy this whimsical, cocktail-inspired lime and mint salad for all the rest of your picnics, deck parties, and backyard get-togethers this season. Don't forget the mojitos!
It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.
Disclosure: Mauna Loa is a long-term partner and I receive free product. However, all opinions and thoughts are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep The Rogue Brussel Sprout running.
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