Prepare for Olathe sweet corn bounty

We haven’t had our first ear of local sweet corn yet, because like a variety of local produce our fabulous sweet corn is delayed due to the same reason I didn’t get to enter tomatoes in the fair this year, the weather. Look at it this way, we’ll savor the flavor of that first ear even more. Our area sweet corn is so sweet and tender we need to remember a few things:

• Don’t overcook it.

• It’s good uncooked or just blanched.

• A simple way to cook: rinse, wrap each ear in waxed paper (twist ends), microwave 2 minutes per ear, or to the way you like it. Talk about the freshest taste ever — that’s the way to go instead of boiling or simmering in water.

• Roasted is another preferred method. Pull husks down, remove silk, pull husks back up, throw on the grill and roast until kernels start to darken a bit .

• Prepare extra to add to toss salads, coleslaw, seafood salad, potato salad, you name it. Add to rice, quinoa and other grain salads, casseroles, corn bread, pancakes. I even make cottage cheese salad with fresh corn, onion, peppers, basil, whatever and serve in a hollowed out tomato. Don’t forget corn pudding or fresh corn chowder.

My daughter Julie served her latest creation recently. It’s on our “Julie must bring list” now. It’s my contribution to the summer salads series appearing on this food page all summer.

Julie’s Summer Quinoa AND Roasted Sweet Corn Salad

1 cup quinoa
1 can chicken or vegetable broth (15 ounce can)
1 can black beans rinsed
1 cup of grape, sugar snack or other little tomatoes cut in half
1 avocado diced
1½ cup roasted sweet corn kernels
1 bunch of cilantro
¼ cup minced red onions
Red bell pepper — finely diced
1 lime (or more to taste)
Olive oil
Toasted slivered almonds

Place quinoa and chicken broth in saucepan, bring to boil, turn to simmer, cook until all liquid is absorbed.

Combine beans, onion, avocado, sliced tomatoes, red peppers, half of cilantro chopped and roasted corn in bowl.  Add zest and juice of one lime and one tablespoon olive oil; pour over mixture and toss gently.

Spread quinoa on platter and top with the bean mixture.  Add a handful of chopped cilantro to the top with toasted almonds. 

Dixie Idea:  Fresh sweet cherries are great in this salad.  Eliminate bell peppers; add a cup of sliced cherries … and yes, I really do think a finely diced jalapeno and a little minced, fresh garlic might make some of us happy. 

Off season: use 1 package (12oz) frozen corn. Place corn on tray, drizzle with about 2 teaspoons of olive oil, toss and roast corn at 350 F stirring once or twice until it looks roasted.

# # #

Kat’s End (or the beginning?) of The Season Garden Mish-Mash
From Katherine Fernandez, executive director of the Palisade Chamber of Commerce. Serves 4.

1 green zucchini — sliced
1 yellow crookneck squash — sliced
1 large red tomato (cut in chunks)
1 cup sweet corn kernels (leftover roasted or fresh)
½ diced onion
1 clove garlic
1 or 2 teaspoons diced jalapeno (I’d use more).
½ teaspoon Mexican seasoning — Fernandez didn’t specify which one, but I would add a liquid hot seasoning or some cayenne pepper along with salt and pepper to taste.

Mix all together and heat in large skillet with a bit of olive oil.

This is really good over brown or white rice.

Dixie Note: Try this mixed with pasta and topped with a little Romano cheese. Leave out Jalapeno, toss with fresh basil and pasta. Other vegetables will work.

# # #

Roasted Corn Salsa

1 cup roasted corn kernels (blanched fresh will work)
1 medium green, red or orange bell pepper
1 or 2 red or green jalapenos or Fresno chili peppers
1/3 cup chopped red or sweet onion
2 cloves garlic — finely minced
1 cup cilantro leaves
Juice and zest of 1 lime
½ teaspoon sugar

Mix all together, taste and adjust to taste. So good, goes with just about everything.


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