smoky corn-tomato relish

6    |   
Prep Time:
10 minutes    |   
Cook Time:
15 minutes

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corn tomato relish

I created this recipe for Bon Appetit’s grilling issue a few summers ago, then forgot about it until an inquiry came to me from an artist looking for a recipe using corn and tomatoes that she could post on her site with an illustration. I’m glad she inspired me to pull this out of my files because it’s vivid, healthy, quick to make and a summer classic. Put the relish on grilled fish or pork, in tacos or quesadillas, or on grilled bread, as they did for this photo in the magazine.

photo credit: Tina Rupp for Bon Appetit magazine


1 ear yellow corn
olive oil
kosher salt
1-1/2 pounds vine-ripe red tomatoes (not heirloom, see note)
1 small red onion (or half a large red onion), peeled and cut in half through the root end
1 garlic clove, minced
1/8 teaspoon pimenton (smoked paprika)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice


Prepare a fire in a grill or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

Remove husk and silk from corn. Rub ear of corn with just enough oil to coat; sprinkle with salt. Place corn, whole tomatoes and onion on grill and cook, turning as needed with tongs, until corn is spotted with brown all over, tomatoes are blistered, and onion is charred and soft, 10 to 15 minutes depending on vegetable.

Remove vegetables as they are ready and let rest on a platter until cool enough to handle. Pull off tomato skins and discard. Cut tomatoes in half crosswise and gently squeeze each half over a sink to extract seeds. Finely chop tomatoes and place in a bowl. Finely chop red onion and add to bowl. Slice kernels off corn and add to bowl. Stir in garlic, pimenton, lime juice and 1 tablespoon of olive oil; season to taste with salt. If made ahead, let stand at room temperature up to 3 hours.

note: heirloom tomatoes tend to be too soft and watery to grill. Roma (plum) tomatoes work for this recipe, too.