No Labor Required

Always sneaking up without warning and consequently inspiring nothing but confusion, Labor Day is a bit of an odd-ball holiday that never fails to catch me off guard.  Here I am, finally getting used to the heat of summer and enjoying the abundance of tomatoes, and all of a sudden, you’re telling me that it’s officially time to transition into fall?  And, what’s this, school is already back in session?  Not so fast!  I’m not ready to relinquish my flip flops and luxuriously long days of sunlight!  To add insult to the abrupt interruption, no matter who I ask, I still can’t figure out what one is supposed to celebrate or even do on Labor Day, besides have a picnic, perhaps.

Well this year, I’m more prepared than ever, staying abreast of what my wall calender has scribbled on it in both print and my own handwriting, and noticing all of those pesky little “holidays” coming up. By the time we reach labor day though, it will be a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of new classes and an insane work schedule. Perhaps I could get into the spirit of this celebration after all.

Besides, now that the veggies are about as fresh and delicious as they will ever be, the options of easy party food are practically endless. Rather than making a big to-do about these natural beauties, I prefer to let them shine with as little adornment as possible, carried by their own unique flavors.

Finally digging into fresh corn, one of my seasonal favorites, it’s time to use it or lose it! So delicate is this starchy and oft-mistreated vegetable that up to half of its inherent sweetness can be squandered simply within the passing of a day. As a friend of mine has said to me on more than one occasion, “If you plan to cook fresh corn, put a pot of water on the stove to boil first, and then go pick it!” While I wouldn’t expect everyone to have such easy access to corn fields, do try your best to buy the corn the same day you plan to serve it, and don’t leave any leftovers hanging around too long. As if that will be a real problem.

Yield: Makes 4 Servings

Summer Corn Salad

Summer Corn Salad

Impeccably fresh summer produce needs little effort to shine. Roasting them intensifies their flavors, concentrates sweetness, and creates a boldly flavorful side dish in a flash.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 4 Cups Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, Halved (or Quartered if Large)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 Ears Fresh Sweet Corn
  • 1/2 Cup Caramelized Onions
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Fines Herbes, or 3 Tablespoons Fresh Chives (to keep things simple)
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean up.
  2. Slice your tomatoes as necessary, and spread them out in one even layer on your baking sheet. Drizzle generously with olive oil to coat, and then sprinkle lightly with both salt and pepper. Roast for 25 – 30 minutes, until they’re slightly shriveled and browned around the edges. Let cool completely.
  3. Meanwhile, cook your corn as desired. I know that people can get very particular about this, so use whatever method you prefer. Personally, I like to get out a giant stock pot, fill the very bottom with water, and then lightly steam my ears of corn (covered) for about 10 – 15 minutes. The time will also depend on your specific corn. On the other hand, my mom tends to simply pop them in the microwave in a dish with a splash of water, and nuke ’em for 2 – 3 minutes per ear, turning them midway through. Once cooked, let the ears cool.
  4. Use a sharp knife to strip the kernels of corn from the ears, and collect them in a large bowl. For anyone who’s counting, you should end up with about 1 1/2 – 2 cups of kernels. Mix in your roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions (which I try to always have on hand for times like these… They just go so well with everything, you may just find yourself getting into the habit of cooking down a bag of onions every weekend, too!), herbs, and lemon juice.
  5. Toss well to distribute all of the ingredients, adjust salt and pepper if necessary, and chill thoroughly before serving.


Learn how to caramelize onions from Simply Recipes.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 195Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 130mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 5gSugar: 22gProtein: 3g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.

30 thoughts on “No Labor Required

  1. What a great salad to celebrate our precious summer produce as it peaks before it goes away. Good luck with the classes and work! I’m a bit overwhelmed with this back-to-school business myself hehe.

  2. That really is great for labor day. Roasting tomato with olive oil is flavor enhancement and thanks for the tip with foil warp. I learned my lesson the hard way. You know those scrub scrub and more scrub. Well I eagerly wait for the labor day long weekend but realizing that the summer is officially over is little hard to sallow. I still haven’t got enough tan to last whole winter.

  3. Anyone who’s never had really fresh corn is seriously missing out! I love how you let the flavors of the veggies shine through here. And I can’t believe it’s already labor day either! Time flies I guess…

  4. ooooh! i know what i’m eating this weekend, and temps here will be in the low 70’s so i won’t even flinch at cranking up the oven!

  5. Corn! Glorious, fresh, sweet corn! And for the first time in my life I can pair it with tomatoes, like you’ve done here, because I no longer live at home with my tomato-allergic mother! Bring on summer…. I’ve had to watch you enjoy such produce whilst shivering in my Australia-winter for far too long ;)

  6. That looks beautiful! With all the corn and tomatoes at my local market, I’m going to have to give this a whirl (I make it a general rule to try anything with caramelized onions).

  7. oh man, that looks so good Hannah! I know what you mean about this time of year… at the farmer’s market I’ve been studiously ignoring the apples and pears and winter squash that are starting to show up in the last couple of weeks. I’m still clinging to strawberries and nectarines and tomatoes and corn and basil!

  8. This looks perfect. So simple, so colorful, and so packed with flavor. I love corn, tomatoes, and onions….it’s like your recipe read my mind! Thanks Hannah, for yet another recipe that I’m sure I will love.

  9. I think I just found dinner for tonight! This looks divine and is perfect with the tomatoes I’ve got from the garden! Thanks so much for always sharing your wonderful recipes!

  10. I didn’t realize just a day could make such a difference for corn! How sad. I better eat the corn in my fridge asap! I love this salad you’ve created.

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