Kitchen Wit & Wisdom: So many ways to enjoy corn

Head to the farmers’ market or to the fruit stand to buy local corn for these delicious recipes.

I’ve had my first feast of local corn on the cob this week and the flavour was amazing –– so fresh, tender, and delicious.

Whether it’s grilled, steamed, boiled, on the cob or off the cob, cooked in the husk or peeled, fresh corn is one of the most versatile vegetables there is.

Corn can be eaten on the cob with butter and a dash of salt perhaps, or cut off, eaten as is, or added to other roasted vegetables as a side dish.

Fresh corn is delicious in salsas, chutneys, or in a never ending variety of salads, chowders, chilies, casseroles, soups, biscuits, muffins, and even cakes.

One of the nicest ways to cook a pot full of corn is by steaming it and I’ve included a recipe below for that, as apparently the majority of folks out there seem to boil the heck out of it.

The second recipe is a delicious salad that is sure to become a family favourite. Head to the farmers’ markets or to the fruit stands as local and  Armstrong corn is now available.

Perfect Steamed Corn on the Cob

12 ears corn, husked

2 tablespoons salt

Two inches water in large pot

Husk corn. Set aside. Put two inches of water in the bottom of a large pot big enough to hold all your corn. Add salt to water. Place large plate or steamer in bottom of pan. Put corn into the pan, whole or cut in half, and stack vertically (up and down) with the stems at the bottom.  Put the cover on, and bring water to a boil. Once water comes to a boil, steam the corn for 15 minutes, keeping the cover on.  Keep an eye on the water, and if it starts to boil out, add more to keep at around two inches so water doesn’t evaporate. Remove corn from pot with tongs, and put on a serving plate. Cover with aluminum foil, until ready to eat.  Serve with lots of butter and sprinkle with salt, to taste. No more soggy corn!

Roasted Corn and Heirloom Tomato Salad

4 ears corn on the cob, husks and silk removed

2 teaspoons olive oil

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

1 red bell pepper

1 yellow bell pepper

1- 1/2 pints small heirloom tomatoes, halved

1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced

1 bunch fresh basil, coarsely chopped

6 ounces mixed salad greens

2 tablespoons olive oil, or to taste

Balsamic vinegar, or to taste

Preheat grill for medium heat and lightly oil the grate.

Rub ears of corn with 2 teaspoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and black pepper; roast the ears on the preheated grill, turning occasionally, until the kernels are lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Place red and yellow bell pepper on the grill and roast until the skins are blistered and lightly charred, turning often, about 15 minutes. Remove corn and bell peppers and let cool. Cut the kernels from the cobs and place into a large bowl. Peel skins from bell peppers, seed, and cut the peppers into 1-inch pieces; mix peppers and corn together. Lightly toss with heirloom tomatoes, red onion, and basil. Cover and refrigerate until serving time. Just before serving, mix in the salad greens and drizzle salad with 2 tablespoons olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Lightly toss to coat with dressing and season with salt and black pepper.

–– Cathi Litzenberger is The Morning Star’s cooking columnist.