Canned Corn Becomes The Ultimate Salad Topping With A Little Help From The Air Fryer

Corn is a versatile ingredient that can be used in everything from salads to Tex-Mex entrees, so chances are you have a can or two tucked away in the pantry. However, before you go rinsing off a can's contents and tossing it into your cowboy caviar or atop your salad greens, consider taking a few extra minutes to cook your corn in the air fryer instead. On its own, corn adds a bit of sweetness ​​and moisture to your salad, but when you toast the kernels briefly in the air fryer, it's a completely different experience. Suddenly, you have an added element of texture thanks to the crunchy exterior, making it a great swap for nuts or croutons as the crunchy component of your salad. Plus, cooking the corn can make it taste sweeter, so your salad will be even more flavorful.

In order to get that crispness without burning the small kernels, cook the corn for a short burst in high heat. While the exact time will vary depending on how much corn you're making and how crispy you want it, approximately eight to 10 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit is a good place to start. For best results, you'll want to regularly shake the corn to ensure it gets evenly crisp. There's also an air fryer method to cook corn on the cob, if you prefer to slice the kernels directly from the cob before adding them to your salad.

Customize it with seasoning

Cooking corn in the air fryer means you have two opportunities to add some serious flavor — before you cook the corn, and once you have the end result of crisp corn to top your salad. Once you know what seasoning you want, you'll need to decide which stage of the process it should be added. For example, moisture will prevent anything you're air frying from becoming super crispy. Gently blotting your corn with a paper towel to remove some excess moisture will help, and you'll want to add wet elements such as sauces or creamy dressings after the food has been cooked. Just be sure to serve any sauce-enhanced corn quickly or it'll go soggy. Dry seasoning can be incorporated prior to air frying, but it's recommended that you use a little oil to help it adhere to the food. To get it to stick to your corn after cooking, you could always toss the crispy kernels in a bit of oil or butter and then add the spices.

In order for your crispy corn to truly be a powerhouse salad topper, take a look at the flavors in your salad and figure out what might be missing (besides a little extra texture). A squeeze of lime on your corn can add a nice burst of acidity, for example, to cut through a creamy dressing or rich toppings like avocado.