Corn

Isn’t fresh summer corn grand?

If corn is fresh enough, it doesn’t even need to be cooked. You can (carefully) cut it off the cob and add it to any kind of salad. Uncooked fresh corn can be sweet and crunchy and wonderful.

If you’re just making some soup for dinner, splurge and cut some corn into it. You can boil corn in water seasoned with butter, salt and a little pepper. We don’t really mean boil, as that would toughen up the texture. Get some water boiling and toss in the corn, letting it cook for only three or four minutes. Drain it and eat it immediately, as it can get soggy if it hangs around soaking in a hot tub.

You can steam fresh corn on top of the stove or in the microwave. To microwave fresh corn, strip back the husk, but don’t detach it. Peel out the silk, as it will scorch. Wash off the corn, but not the husk; this will take a little manipulation. You can insert some butter or margarine between the husk and the corn. Wrap the corn tightly in its own husk and microwave until steaming. If you don’t have husks, you can use paper towels for the microwave. The husk method works well for barbecues or pit cookers. If you don’t have husks for this method, then use aluminum foil.

Your fresh corn should be surrounded by a fresh green husk, with no evidence of bug chomping or mold. If your market allows it, perform the time-honored procedure of peeling down the first several inches of husk to inspect the cob for plump, fully packed kernels. You can store fresh corn in the refrigerator, but remember that cold tells the corn to turn its sugar to starch. If you want the sweetest corn, use it before you need to refrigerate it.

Fresh corn will provide you with folic acid, potassium and thiamin. Although there is a lot of niacin in corn, humans can’t get at it when it’s fresh. Indigenous people knew way back when that the way to get the most nutrition out of corn was to process it with ash, which helps with the niacin. In fact, the combination of corn with ash was the precursor to many modern leavening agents, such as baking powder.

RECIPE

Sweet Corn and Avocado Salad

Serves 4-6

Dressing:

1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon hot sauce

2 Tablespoons Balsamic or red wine vinegar

¼ cup olive oil or oil of choice

1 minced garlic clove

Salad:

4 ears corn on the cob (or 4 cups of frozen, thawed cut corn)

½ cup fresh cubed avocado

1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

2 Tablespoons minced sweet onions

¼ cup minced fresh parsley or cilantro

Place all dressing ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to combine. If using fresh corn, remove husk and silk, wash and cut corn kernels off cob. Add corn and remaining ingredients to dressing, toss lightly to combine. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes prior to serving.

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