Corn Has Arrived!

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Sweet corn, that eagerly anticipated summer staple, is arriving in local markets. I procured a tasty dozen at a Produce Junction in Margate, N.J., last weekend, and it was quite heavenly.

I cooked all 12 ears, knowing that we would likely only consume a few. I had a method to my madness — corn salad with the leftovers.

Confession: I loathe scraping the kernels off the cob. It’s messy and tedious, and the yield per ear is rather low. But the results are so delicious and versatile that I can usually convince myself to do it for the duration of corn’s short season.

One great thing about this salad is its versatility. I went in a Mexican direction and served it with barbecued chicken. But by varying the ingredients, you can easily pair this with Italian, Greek, Indian … really, any flavor profile you like. Suggested alternatives follow the recipe.

Mexican Corn Salad

Serves four as a side dish

2 cups corn kernels (from 6 ears cooked corn)

1 small shallot, finely minced

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

12 cherry tomatoes, halved (or quartered if large)

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

⅛ teaspoon chipotle powder (or your pepper of choice)

Juice of ½ lime

1 tablespoon olive oil

Mix all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Allow the salad to sit for at least 30 minutes before serving to let the flavors blend.

Variations:

Greek Corn Salad: Omit the cilantro, cumin, chipotle and lime. Instead, use fresh dill, lemon juice and a small clove of minced garlic.

Italian Corn Salad: Swap the cilantro, cumin, chipotle and lime for basil and balsamic.

Indian Corn Salad: Swap the chipotle for curry powder.