Along with tomatoes, sweet corn is one of the top favorite foods of summer. When it’s good, it’s sweet, juicy and totally irresistible. Here are two easy and flavorful recipes to make while corn is at its peak, plus one surprising way to enjoy it on the cob (hint: It may have you thinking twice about the need for butter!).
Sweet Corn soup with a Thai Twist
The trace of coconut, chile and kaffir lime give this soup an enticing Thai flavor that complements the sweetness of the corn perfectly. You can use dried chile in place of fresh for this soup: Start with a pinch and add more when blending to get desired heat. Dried kaffir lime leaves also work well when fresh are not available.
1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium-hot fresh chile, seeded and chopped
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
4 cups sweet corn kernels, from about 4 large cobs
4 kaffir lime leaves
3 cups water
Cayenne pepper to taste
Red chile flakes or fresh sliced chile, to garnish
Warm coconut oil in a medium pot. Add onion and saute for 5 minutes or until golden. Add garlic and chile and cook for another 3 minutes. Stir in turmeric and a pinch of salt. Add corn, kaffir lime leaves and water. Bring up to a boil, cover pot, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until corn is tender. Remove from heat and blend in batches, in an upright blender until smooth and creamy. Season to taste with salt and cayenne. Serve warm, topped with chile flakes.
Sweet Corn Tomato Salad with Herbs
Light and refreshing, this salad is perfect to eat right now. With cherry tomatoes and corn in their prime, the salad needs little more than a splash of oil and vinegar to make it a meal. Try using basil and dill in place of or in addition to the parsley and chives.
1 large cob sweet corn, shucked
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons chopped chives
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt to taste
Steam corn for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Cut off kernels and place in a bowl. Add cherry tomatoes, chives, parsley, vinegar, oil and a pinch of salt. Toss to combine and season to taste. Serve immediately.
Steamed Corn with Umeboshi
Umeboshi plums are a salty and sour plum used in Japanese cuisine — often served with rice. When paired with sweet and juicy corn, the plums create a flavor sensation that will make you completely forget about the need for butter. For the best flavor, seek out naturally pickled umeboshi. Use a little plum flesh in dressings and sauces for a unique, bright flavor. When using umeboshi plums or other umeboshi products, be sure to reduce the salt in the recipe.
1 cob sweet corn, shucked
Umeboshi plums or paste
Steam corn for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Break open a plum, remove pit and smear the flesh of the plum over the corn cob just as you would butter.
Photo by Stephen Johnson