Sweet Summertime Corn
It’s summertime and sweet corn is waiting at your local farmer’s market – ready to eat fresh, add to salads or pop on the grill.
Sweet corn is harvested young before the sugar has a chance to turn into starch. Supersweet varieties (yellow, white and bicolor) produce and retain natural sugars for an enhanced sweet flavor.
Dent or field corn, another type of corn left on the cob to dry, then gets sold as a grain to feed livestock, or gets processed into flour, cornmeal, starch and oil. Flint corn, also called Indian corn or calico corn, is harder than dent corn and boasts a wide range of colors. It’s prized for a high nutrient value. When dried, it’s used for corn meal, hominy and polenta.
Back to the sweet corn of summer! Choose ears of corn with green, moist, snug fitting husks. End silk should be golden brown and dry, the ears full and plump and the stem end moist. Cobs coming to market on ice offer the sweetest, freshest flavor!
Many stands display a freshly husked cob of corn on top of the pile to give shoppers a visual “taste.” What to look for? Plump looking kernels in tight rows that come all the way up to the ear’s top. White varieties tend to outsell yellow varieties, but the choice is yours!
Grill or roast fresh corn for the most flavor and more convenience when serving a crowd. If you want plump and extra juicy corn on the cob, try microwaving, steaming or boiling.
Shop the farmers market for all the ingredients to make this delicious Corn Salad, a quick and easy make-ahead:
FRESH CORN SALAD
2 cobs fresh corn, kernels sliced off
1 firm tomato, seeded and chopped OR 1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 small cucumber, diced
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
1 – 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
Dressing: Combine 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, 1 small jalapeno (seeded and minced), ¼ teaspoon salt and 3 tablespoons Cottage Kitchen Red Pepper Jelly.
Combine salad ingredients. Mix in dressing. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves 4.
The Orinda market is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Orinda Way in Orinda Village. More information is available at www.cccfm.org, facebook.com/OrindaFarmersMarket and Instagram at OrindaFarmersMarket, or call the market hotline: 925.431.8361.