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Grilled Pepper & Sweet Corn Salad + Creamy Avocado Lime Dressing


Yes, you should be eating salad all year long but we bet you agree that nothing tastes better than fresh, local, in season leafy greens and veggies. To help you build a better bowl we asked Nicki Sizemore for a few easy, innovative ideas. The Cold Spring-based chef, cookbook author, and food blogger (fromscratchfast.com) focuses on flavor-packed, gluten-free recipes. Here are three to toss up for light, refreshing main dish meals.

From Nicki Sizemore:

This is the salad of my dreams. Lightly charred sweet peppers and grilled corn are tossed with romaine lettuce, grains, toasted pepitas, crumbled cotija or feta cheese, and a creamy (dairy-free) avocado lime dressing. It’s the kind of meal that begs to be eaten outdoors. We whip it up for weekend lunches in the summer or serve it alongside barbecue chicken or fish for dinner. You can even grill the vegetables, make the dressing and cook the grains over the weekend, then throw the salad together in seconds later in the week. Your weekday self will thank you! Use any whole grains you like, such as quinoa, brown rice, sorghum, farro, or wheat berries.

Serves 4


Creamy Avocado Lime Dressing:

2 Tbsp fresh lime juice

2 Tbsp rice vinegar

¼ cup water

¼ cup neutral vegetable oil (such as grapeseed)

1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped

½ jalapeño, seeds and ribs discarded (unless you like it spicy, then keep them in!)

1 medium avocado

¼ cup lightly packed cilantro leaves

1 small scallion, thinly sliced

½ tsp honey

Salt and freshly ground black pepper



1 medium red bell pepper, quartered

1 medium yellow bell pepper, quartered

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 ears corn

2 cups cooked grains, cooled

1 romaine heart, coarsely chopped

2 scallions, thinly sliced

Toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas), for serving

Crumbled cotija or feta cheese, for serving


For the dressing:

In a blender, combine all of the ingredients, and season with salt and pepper. Blend until smooth (there might still be some small chunks, and that’s OK). Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Do ahead:

The dressing can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

For the bowls:

Preheat the grill to medium-high.

Drizzle the red and yellow peppers with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and rub with the oil (on all sides) to lightly coat. Discard the dark green outer husks of the corn, leaving the inner husks intact. Peel back the inner husks halfway and pull out the silk. Discard the silk. Wrap the cobs back in their husks.

Arrange the peppers and corn on the grill. Cook, flipping the peppers and turning the corn occasionally, until the peppers are lightly charred on both sides, and the corn kernels are bright yellow and lightly toasted, about 8–10 minutes total. Transfer the vegetables to a cutting board. Coarsely chop the peppers, and cut the corn kernels off the cobs. Let cool. Do ahead: The grilled vegetables can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Place the vegetables in a large bowl, and add the grains, romaine, and scallions. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with just enough dressing to coat (you won’t need it all). Top with pepitas and crumbled cheese. Serve with the remaining dressing on the side.

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week is back this April 8-21!