While we’ve had some locally grown corn available at area farmers markets since early July, it has taken a little longer than usual for it to be noticed by those who do not shop the market from the onset of the opening bell.
There are a few boxes here and a few boxes there from a limited number of farmers.
I often found myself absent from this summer favorite, with our shoppers scooping up the hearty ears. This past weekend, however, I definitely got my fair share, and I’m expecting to have it more readily available into the fall season.
The local corn is so sweet and flavorful that it can be thoroughly enjoyed fresh directly out of the husk.
However, cooking is more my style. There are so many ways to prepare corn I’m sure everyone has their favorite techniques. Mine usually involves a drizzle of olive oil, freshly cracked black pepper, a wedge of fresh lime, garlic salt and, of course, a hot grill.
A great way to deliver a moist, crisp texture is to prepare the entire ear in the husk. Simply peel back the husk to the base and remove the inner silk, then drizzle the exposed ear with melted butter (or olive oil). Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste and a splash of lime juice for those seeking tangy notes.
Then wrap the husk back over the corn and grill it for about 8-10 minutes, until the corn is tender, and the husk is slightly charred. To help secure the husk, wrap it in foil.
Fresh corn can also be prepared by removing the entire husk and inner silk, brushing the corn with olive oil and adding garlic salt and pepper to taste. This reduces the moisture content a little, but adds that delicious grilled flavor, allowing the kernels to slightly char. This method should allow the corn to finish in about 5-6 minutes of cooking time, rotating regularly for even cooking.
This week I prepared one of our family’s summer favorites: grilled corn and black bean salsa. Use as a dip, to top your tacos or a tostada salad. I also like to top scrambled eggs or an omelet with a hearty scoop.
Grilled Corn and Black Bean Salsa
2 ears grilled corn
8 Roma style tomatoes, firm-ripe (diced), or any type of tomato you prefer
1 small red onion (diced)
½ cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
¼ cup fresh lime or lemon juice
1 clove fresh garlic (minced)
1 jalapeño pepper (seeds and membrane removed to reduce heat if needed, minced)
1 12-ounce can black beans (liquid drained)
1 ripe avocado, firm-ripe, diced into small cubes
salt and pepper to taste
Remove cooked corn from the husk by positioning the corn on its end and working the knife downward. In a mixing bowl, combine corn, diced tomato, onion, cilantro, lime or lemon juice, garlic and jalapeno pepper. Toss well.
Then add black beans and avocado. Toss gently until incorporated. Season liberally with salt and add pepper to taste.
Yield: Makes about 4 cups.