This is one of my favorite times of the year at the farmer’s market. For the next few weeks, we will continue to see a bounty on seasonal produce from peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, plums, peaches (Oh, peaches!) to berries and onions.
This summer I had the best corn ever. Blessed with early crops of corn, strawberries, mangoes and avocados due to an unusual warm winter, I had the chance to try one of the first corn harvests. At first, I wasn’t so sure about it, but I trusted my local farmer who sells directly to consumers. Needless to say, it was incredibly sweet yet not overwhelming, but rather tender and juicy.
It was so good that I could easily eat it raw! And yes, we still have plenty of it before summer is gone.
With kids going back to school soon and September just around the corner, we have only a few weeks left to enjoy sweet, juicy, ripe summer flavors.
So make the best of the remaining weeks of summer by gathering friends and enjoying one of these easy and delicious summer corn recipes—before they are gone too!
Quick Ideas with Corn
Here are some quick “recipe-less” ideas for corn. Enjoy!
• Grilled corn on the cob with chipotle mayonnaise
• Salad with fresh corn, black beans, queso blanco, hearts of romaine, hearts of palm, chile vinaigrette
• Quesadillas: soft corn tortillas (or whole wheat if you are not gluten intolerant), fresh roasted corn, red peppers, red onions, fresh tomatoes, shredded Gouda (Monterey Jack or Havarti), chipotle
• Corn tortilla soup: add fresh summer corn to your classic tortilla soup recipe and don’t forget those ancho chilies and poblano peppers!
• Corn chutney, onions, red bell peppers, mango (peaches or pineapple), fresh lime, cayenne pepper, chives and fresh cilantro
• Roasted corn cheese: dip fresh corn, cheddar or Swiss, gruyere, farmers cheese, cayenne
Savory or sweet corn budino (pudding) For a savory taste: use fresh corn, yellow onions, red and/or yellow peppers, cream, eggs, cheddar or Swiss cheese, cilantro. For the sweet one, just add fresh summer corn (and some creamed corn for extra texture and flavor) to your regular sweet recipe.
Vegetarian Corn Bisque
Often people ask me the difference between a “chowder” and a “bisque.” Since we’ll be making a bisque today here is a quick easy-to-remember explanation.
Chowder: Thick, rich and chunky type of soup, usually using potatoes to thicken it.
Bisque: Thick and rich too yet smoother, not chunky. Usually containing pureed seafood, fowl, or vegetables, and cream.
4 T butter, extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
2 c onions, diced
1/2 c celery, diced
1/2 c carrots, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 ears corn, husked, cooked, kernels removed, milk scraped from empty cobs (reserve cobs to use for extra flavor)
2 c dried fava beans, soaked overnight, peeled
5-6 c vegetable stock, low sodium, or more if needed
1 T fresh thyme
1 t dried rosemary
1 t dried sage
1 t curry, optional
1/4 t cayenne
1/2 t paprika
Sea salt and fresh pepper, to taste
1 c cream
Juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
1/2 yellow pepper, finely diced
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
Fresh chives (or cilantro), chopped, optional for garnish
- In a large pot over medium-low heat, sauté onion, carrots and celery with three tablespoons of butter or oil until softened Add the garlic, stir and cook until fragrant.
- Add corn, stir to combine flavors. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the fava beans and enough stock to cover. Cut the cob into pieces and add to the pot along with the herbs and spices.
- Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover
- Cook until the beans are tender, about 45 minutes
- Add the corn in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Remove the cobs.
- Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until it is smooth and creamy. (Be careful, it will be hot!) Return soup to pot.
- Add cream and splash of fresh lemon or lime juice.
- Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of butter or oil in a separate heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add peppers and sauté until tender yet still a bit crunchy.
- Add peppers to soup
- Bring soup to simmer and serve in warm bowls with a dollop of sour cream or cream fraiche and fresh chopped chives
Cooking Tip: Remove kernels by standing corn cobs upright in a large, shallow bowl, then slice kernels off in vertical strips.
Corn Panna Cotta
Panna cotta is simple, unpretentious, yet glorious in taste. Furthermore it’s incredibly easy-to make, and an all-occasion winner for dessert. Are you looking for a way to make it even more distinct and seasonal? Add some fresh corn to it and any other savory ingredients according to your taste. Here’s how:
5 c heavy cream, divided
1/2 c sugar
2 ears of sweet corn, husked, kernels removed
Pinch of sea salt
1/4 t chili powder or cayenne
1/2 t cinnamon
1 1/2 t vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
2 packets unflavored powdered gelatin
- In a medium pot over medium-low heat combine 4 cups of cream, add sugar, corn, chili powder or cayenne pepper, cinnamon and salt. Bring to a simmer and remove from heat. Let it rest until cooled for 30-45 minutes.
- Puree in a blender and strain back into pot.
- In a separate saucepan, combine the remaining cream and vanilla. Sprinkle in the gelatin.
- Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes Place the pan over medium-low heat and allow the gelatin to dissolve, stirring gently.
- Add gelatin cream mixture to the corn puree and return to low heat stirring to consisently .
- Pour mixture into six individual coffee or custard cups.
- Chill in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight.
- Serve with fresh whipped cream with lemon or lime zest or crispy fried cilantro for a more