Local summer corn is in and I can’t get enough of it! Sure it is great for eating straight off the cob (I prefer steamed for everyday eating and grilled for special occasions), but there is so much you can do with corn after cutting it off the cob.
I’m sure there is no need for me to sell you all on corn, so I’ll get straight to the recipes for this week.
First up is a corn and herb risotto salad. Think of this as a pasta salad with rice instead of pasta, thus making it a great dish for your gluten-free company. Don’t be turned off by hearing “risotto” either. Yes, traditional risotto cooked at the stove can take up to an hour and requires constant supervision and aggressive stirring. But I’ve altered this recipe to use Arborio rice in the oven. It still takes 40 minutes to cook the rice, but requires none of the stirring, and still comes out incredibly creamy without any cream or cheese. Then you add the de-cobbed corn, some diced cucumber and green onion, as well as some fresh herbs and a little homemade vinaigrette and it makes a very satisfying, though still summery, dish.
I’ve also been on a kind of a vegetarian kick lately, so when I saw this recipe for chickpea and summer corn curry, I got a little excited. It’s very similar to the butter chicken recipe I wrote about back when I got my Instant Pot after Christmas, but it uses lime juice, which gives it a little more acidity, and the corn, which has that sweet-crisp flavor to it. If you wanted to add a little precooked chicken to it, it would probably soak up the extra sauce quite nicely.
And finally, a very colorful corn salad that features fresh corn, grape tomatoes, diced zucchini and celery, peppers and onion, and it’s brought together with a honey vinaigrette. This goes great with grilled chicken or pork chops, or you could even add some tuna to it and call it lunch.
What’s your favorite way to eat corn? When you get tired of the same old same old, it’s nice to have a few new ways to try it.
Corn and herb risotto salad
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup Arborio rice
2½ cups chicken broth
2 cups freshly shaved corn kernels off the cob (probably 2 cobs)
1 cup cucumber, diced small
½ cup green onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place butter in a 3-quart baking dish with a lid and place in the oven for a few minutes to melt. Remove dish from oven, add rice and chicken broth and stir. Cover with lid. Cook for 40 minutes and then remove from the oven. At the end of the time, the texture should be tender, but still with a firm bite.
To cool rice, spread out in a thin layer on a plate or small sheet pan.
Meanwhile, shave corn kernels off the cob and set in a large mixing bowl.
To the corn, add diced cucumber, sliced green onion, chopped basil and parsley. Zest one lemon into the mix as well.
Once rice is cool to room temp, stir into the bowl of corn and herbs. Stir in olive oil and juice from half the lemon. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and add more lemon juice, salt and pepper as needed.
Serve room temp or chill to enjoy cold later.
Source: Adapted from thecraveablekitchen.com
Indian-inspired chickpea and summer corn curry
1 tablespoon canola oil, or another high-heat oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 cups fresh corn kernels (about 4 ears)
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
2 to 3 teaspoons garam masala (to taste)
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 teaspoons lime juice
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
Black pepper to taste
Cooked rice, for serving
Fresh cilantro, for serving
Coat the bottom of a large pot with oil and place it over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, until soft and translucent.
Add the garlic, ginger and cumin seeds. Continue to sauté for about 1 minute, until very fragrant and the cumin seeds darken.
Stir in the tomatoes, chickpeas, corn, coconut milk, garam masala, turmeric and cayenne pepper.
Raise the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and allow it to simmer for 20 minutes, or until the corn is tender, stirring occasionally.
If you have an immersion blender, use it to blend about half of the mixture. Otherwise, blend in a food processor or blender, then return it to the pot.
Stir in the lime juice and season with salt and pepper.
Serve with rice and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.
Summer corn salad
For the salad:
2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen, thawed is fine)
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
1 cup diced zucchini (about 1 small zucchini)
½ cup diced celery
½ cup diced sweet bell pepper (any color is fine)
¼ cup diced red onion
For the dressing:
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons vinegar (white or apple cider)
1 teaspoon salt
Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar. Cover with lid and shake until completely combined. Set aside.
Place all of the vegetables in a large bowl. Pour dressing over top and gently toss to coat.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. It keeps well in the refrigerator for at least two to three days.