Sweet Corn Is In Season — Use It!

The season for summer sweet corn is here. We’re seeing in the stores and markets corn from Southern states, like Florida. As the summer goes, we’ll see corn from the Midwestern states and other places showing up. When they get to your local farmers market, plan on lots of great corn recipes. You won’t be sorry.

So, here are some ideas of things to do with fresh sweet corn.

Succotash is an old Southern dish made of corn and lima beans. Usually, it is drenched in butter, but there are other options that are especially good in the summer. Make it into a cold salad with good extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar. Add diced ham or leftover sausage, turkey or chicken with some green onions. Instead of oil and vinegar, top with light Italian Dressing, especially if you make it yourself (see below). Swap out the lima beans with fava beans or peas. Add some fresh mint leaves finely chopped to add a whole new dimension to the dish.

Here’s an easy low-sodium Italian Seasoning mix recipe. Just add 3 tablespoons each of olive oil and red wine vinegar to one tablespoon of this mix. A little lemon juice wouldn’t hurt.

  • 6 teaspoons dried majoram
  • 6 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 6 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 6 tsp. ground savory
  • 3 tsp. dried ground sage
  • 6 tsp. dried oregano
  • 6 tsp. dried basil

Combine all ingredients and store in a tightly lidded jar.

The corn you get this early is not as sweet as corn from the late summer, but this firm, chewy corn is great for summer salads or lighter dishes. Like Sauteed Sweet Corn in Butter with Mint and Lemon. Just cut the kernels from a couple ears of corn an sauté them in melted butter for a couple minutes until they start to turn just a little bit brown. This brings out the natural sugar of the corn. Add about a teaspoon of fresh minced ginger and a pinch each of cayenne pepper and salt. Cook until the corn is cooked but still firm, about another minute or two. Now add in a teaspoon of lemon juice, fresh if you’ve got it, and about a tablespoon worth of fresh mint leaves, sliced thin. Mint grows everywhere and it’s a good thing to have in your herb garden. I’ll have more on that later. Stir your mint and lemon juice into your corn, check the seasoning and serve.

Baked Buttered Corn. Again, cut the kernels off the cob into a small baking dish or ramekin. Make sure all those juices get into the dish. Add a half-tablespoon of butter for each ear of corn. Push it down into the corn. Salt and pepper to taste. Bake uncovered at 425 for 30 to 40 minutes. Remember to allow it 5 to 10 minutes to cool after you take it out of the oven. This one will surprise you with its rich taste.

Grilled Corn Salad. Remember how I said you should always make a little room on the grill for some veggies? This is just the place. If you don’t have a grill to roast some corn, just toast some corn kernels in a non-stick pan on the stovetop, along with some chopped onions. Now add in a bowl whatever fresh vegetables you have on hand, like zucchini, tomatoes or celery, all chopped up. Stir in salt, pepper, cumin, some Parmesan cheese, a little olive oil and a splash or two of vinegar or lime juice and you’ve got a corn salad.

See, it’s not that hard to come up with plenty of ways to use that good, fresh, early season corn. Get ’em while they last and enjoy.

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