Celebrate the corn harvest by adding it to a salad (video)
Editor’s note: This story first appeared in August 2017. Find corn for this recipe at local farmers markets throughout the season.
Corn season is here. In Colorado, our sweet corn season runs from mid-July to mid-October, so we are smack in the middle and the corn is crispy and fresh.
How many times have you had a lovely looking ear of corn and once you bit into it, the kernels were lodged into your teeth for the remainder of the barbecue? Too many, right? That means your corn is well done. Overcooking corn is a simple and too frequently made mistake.
Long ago, I interviewed a corn farmer who said when he was harvesting he would pull an ear off the stalk, husk it and take a bite. If he felt like taking a second and third bite, then he knew the corn was ready to pick. He just ate it right there in the field, fresh and raw.
The trick is simple: hardly cook your fresh corn. When I grill fresh corn, it takes about 10 minutes over high heat and rotating frequently because I’m aiming for a few charred pieces. Boiling corn takes even less time. With the freshest of the fresh, sold on the side of U.S. Highway 6, I suggest you shuck your corn, plop it into boiling water and let boil for 4 minutes only. That will keep the fresh corn pop that screams summertime.
There are so many forms of corn sold in supermarkets that understanding its nutritional value can be confusing. When we consider the health benefits of a fresh cob of sweet corn, they’re plentiful. Fresh corn is filled with B vitamins, including vitamins B3, B6 and pantothenic acid.
It is also a good source of the mineral phosphorus, high in fiber and really aids in the battle against hemorrhoids. Antioxidants abound in fresh corn. Lutein and zeaxanthin help protect your eyes from free radicals and macular degeneration, so go grab a fresh ear of corn, put on your sunglasses — and don’t overcook this summertime staple.
Charred Corn Salad
5 ears of corn, husked
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup micro greens
1 teaspoon each chopped parsley and basil
4 ounces ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Heat your grill to medium-high and allow it to warm up to 500 degrees.
Using 1 tablespoon of olive oil, coat the corn evenly. Sprinkle smoked paprika and salt over all sides of the corn and place corn on hot grill.
Cover and turn corn three times every three minutes until lightly charred. Remove and allow to cool. Once cooled, cut the kernels off the cob.
In a small bowl, mix the micro greens with ½ teaspoon olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and squeeze of lime.
In another bowl, mix the ricotta with the parsley and basil.
Arrange the salad with 1 ounce of ricotta cheese, ½ cup corn and ¼ cup micro greens. Season with salt and pepper, and serve cool.
Tracy Miller is a private chef, caterer and teaches culinary classes. Her mission is to incorporate vegetables and fruits into all her dishes. Miller can be reached at email@example.com.