High-Summer Salad with Coconut Dressing and Lots of Herbs

One of my favorite cookbooks of the season, Everyone’s Table, is filled with colorful recipes just like this gorgeous summery salad. It’s the perfect way to use up my weekend farmers market haul and is definitely an eye-catching brunch dish.

By August, the tomatoes are fat, the stone fruit is juicy, and the time is right for this summer showcase of a salad. A coconut milk dressing keeps all that natural sweetness squarely in the savory realm, with tartness from lime, heat from fresh chiles, and a punch of green from a shower of herbs. The result is exciting enough to turn the simplest grilled chicken or fish into a satisfying meal.

My grain-free friends will immediately notice the corn in the list of ingredients. While it’s technically a grain, I’ll admit to being a sucker for the sweet, smoky pops of charred kernels. By all means, leave it out if you like!

High-Summer Salad with Coconut Dressing and Lots of Herbs

Serves 4 to 6


  • 1/4 cup lime juice (from about 2 juicy limes)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar or finely chopped palm sugar
  • 1 small garlic clove, very finely chopped
  • 1 very hot fresh chile, such as Thai or small serrano, thinly sliced
  • 2 fresh or frozen makrut lime leaves, center ribs removed, very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large ear corn, shucked
  • 1/2 teaspoon avocado oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes (whatever looks best), cored and cut into 3/4-inch-thick wedges
  • 1 tablespoon flaky sea salt
  • 2 ripe nectarines, pitted and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups mixed summer berries, halved if you want
  • 1 cup Slow-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes (page 307)
  • 11/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Handful mixed herbs, such as basil and mint leaves and small cilantro sprigs


  1. Step 1


    Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small mixing bowl and stir to completely dissolve the sugar. It keeps in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

    Step 2


    Fire up a grill to cook with high heat or preheat the broiler and set an oven rack close to the heat source.

    Step 3

    Rub the corn with the avocado oil, season with the kosher salt, and grill (or broil on a sheet pan), turning occasionally, just until the kernels are barely cooked and slightly charred, 3 to 5 minutes. Let the corn cool slightly, then use a sharp knife to cut off the kernels, discarding the cob.

    Step 4

    Arrange the tomato wedges on a platter, cut-sides up, and sprinkle on the flaky salt. Arrange the nectarines, berries, corn, and roasted cherry tomatoes on top, then spoon on the coconut dressing. Drizzle with the olive oil, garnish with the herbs, and serve.


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