In Season: Corn

  It is no wonder I love corn….I grew up in upstate New York where corn fields are pretty much everywhere.  It is the main crop that most farmers in that area grow, and in August, the roadside farm stands overflow with corn on the cob, piled high and deep.  We loved the Schoharie County corn, which my parents always said was superior to everything else around.  They basically refused to buy corn anywhere but from one particular farm stand, where my family alone probably kept them flush during the off-season.  In August, we pretty much ate corn almost every night.  Who could resist?  “Butter-and-sugar” was our variety of choice, which we boiled in sugared water for seven, eight, or nine minutes, depending on who you asked.

 We were corn purists—and put nothing but butter on our cobs.  When I met my husband, I was shocked to see that he ate his “straight up” without any condiments.  Over the years, I’ve come around to his way of thinking, and now enjoy the corn in all its naked glory.   A good cob needs no embellishment, and since my metabolism isn’t what it used to be, who needs the extra calories of butter?   However, I will admit that the other night while eating out at a local supper club, I had some extraordinary corn on the cob.  It was perfectly cooked (a rare thing at a restaurant), gently bathed in butter, and then sprinkled with parmesan cheese and ground chipotle pepper.  Fabulous!   I’m definitely using that at my next dinner party. 

What I did use at my last dinner party was this Corn Panzanella Salad.   By cutting the corn off the cob after cooking and combining it with tomatoes, basil, and homemade “croutons”, you have a colorful and healthy salad which is substantial enough to serve as a main dish during lunch or for a light dinner.   It’s a perfect way to celebrate the season’s bounty!

Corn Panzanella Salad

Serves 4

4 ears fresh corn, husked

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

¼ cup fresh basil, chopped

4 slices country bread, cut into cubes

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons + ¼ cup olive oil

Salt & pepper

Preheat oven (or toaster oven) to 350 degrees.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and cook corn for 7 minutes, or until just tender.  Remove from water and allow to cool.

Once cooled, use a sharp knife to shear the kernels off the cob.  Place corn in a large bowl.

Meanwhile, toss cubed bread with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place on a small baking sheet.  Bake for about 10 minutes, until bread is nicely toasted and crunchy.  Allow to cool somewhat.

Add the croutons, tomatoes and basil to the bowl with the corn, and mix to combine.

In a small bowl or mixing cup, make a vinaigrette by whisking together balsamic vinegar, remaining olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.  Pour over the salad and toss to combine.

Thanks to “catchesthelight” for the top photo of the corn cob.

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One Response to “In Season: Corn”

  1. Season To Taste » Still In Season: Corn Says:

    […] sure to get it every week.  This week I’ve been using corn to make lots of variations on this corn salad, but also eating it right on the […]

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