Where I come from, corn isn’t just a vegetable, it’s a way of life. Outside of Chicago and the ‘burbs, Illinois is primarily a farming state, and corn is a major crop. My mom even worked for a seed company that specialized in corn. So growing up, summer meals more often than not, had plenty of sweet ears on the table. Suffice it to say we were a corn family. Even our corn cob holders were shaped like corn.
I remember humid summer nights sitting on the stairs of our backyard deck with my brother and sister, shucking bins upon bins of corn my mom had brought home. To this day, I can shuck like a pro. Like pull-out-your-stopwatch pro.
And you know, there’s nothing like midwest sweet corn. It’s almost like candy and the kernels are so big and juicy. A year after moving to NYC, the husband (then boyfriend at the time) and I decided to camp while we were visiting back home. On the way to the national park, we spotted a local farmer selling sweet corn along the side of the road. That night, after a sweaty hike, we grilled it up over the fire we built, and let me tell you, it was some of the best corn I’ve ever had. I had really missed that piece of home.
The great thing about sweet corn in the summer is that it’s so sweet and tender on its own that you don’t even have to cook it. This Fresh Corn Salad recipe is an homage to my cornfed days, but pretty enough to bring to a barbecue or picnic. You just cut the kernels straight off the cob, stir in a few vegetables and fresh herbs, and add a simple vinaigrette. This time around, I used some of an apple cider vinegar tonic called Fire Cider in my dressing to give the salad some kick. I bought it from herbalist Lauren Giambrone at a farmer’s market in Hudson, NY. It’s got apple cider vinegar, cayenne pepper, horseradish and ginger in it. Of course, you can use regular apple cider vinegar, and it will be just as good. Here’s to summer, home, and sweet corn!
If you’re looking for more summer dishes, check them out here.
Total Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 4-6 servings