The first time Phil and I ever had this corn salad was years ago at a dinner party hosted by some dear friends of ours. Patsy and David Quintero used to throw the most amazing dinner parties! We never wanted to miss one...to the point that once we were at a wedding in Santa Barbara for the weekend, we drove back down to Los Angeles for their dinner party, and the same evening drove back up to Santa Barbara to finish off our weekend away! Wow! We sure were young and energetic then! For those of you who don't know, that was a 2+ hour drive each way! That's how Gr8 the Quintero dinner parties were! And small, too. Just a handful of guests. That's what made them so special.
Anyway....back to the corn salad! It is delicious, easy and perfect for summer gatherings! Picnics especially! Patsy was always so willing to share her recipes, and we all loved that she did. This was by far her easiest...the rest, not so much! My sister-in-law, Mary and I make this corn salad recipe all the time...summers especially. Often times I wonder if one day we'll show up at the same family event carrying the same salad! It's THAT good!
Many of Patsy's recipes were authentic to her Mexican heritage. The Cacique cheese and the cilantro are the only ingredients in the corn salad that speak to her culture, and ooh I love cilantro! As fresh tasting as this dish is, people are always amazed that the corn is from a can! But you don't need to tell them! They'll figure it out when they ask you for the recipe, which I'm sure they will! ¡Muchísimas gracias Patrícia y David! It's still our favorite...and your dinner parties were too!
- 4 11-ounce cans shoe peg corn, drained and rinsed. I used Green Giant (only brand I've seen in CA....apparently also sold by another brand frozen in a bag)
- ½ bunch cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 2 to 3 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 round package Mexican cheese, diced small. (Cacique brand Ranchero or Panela cheese. Available in dairy section with Mexican cheeses and salsas)
- 1 package Good Seasons Italian dressing mix, (dry) prepared and mixed according to package instructions.
- Mix all ingredients, except for the dressing, in a large bowl.
- Add dressing slowly, very little dressing is needed. Taste as you go before adding more. You don't want it to be soggy.
- Cover and refrigerate.