The saying goes that corn should be “knee high by the fourth of July”. Well this year’s crop certainly has surpassed that standard here in the midst of August. Today, driving down the one-lane country road to our house on the Chesapeake, a sea of of hugely tall corn splendid with lush green stalks and feathery tassels enveloped my car. The plantings were so thick that it was impossible to see the individual rows, almost like in the movie “Field of Dreams”.
That neighboring farmer reports that each stalk bears only 1-2 ears of corn. The ones in his field are being raised for animal feed. Luckily at Haskell Farm where we get our weekly CSA share, heirloom varieties meant for people food are ripe now, including bicolored corn, a real treat if you can find some at a local farmers’ market.
Corn tells you everything by its husk. If the husk is green and hasn’t dried out, the ear of corn is still ripe. Corn’s silk threads also indicate ripeness. They should cling to the kernels, and the kernels should be plump.
At the beginning of corn season, nibbling on kernels straight from the cob is addictive and necessary, I enjoy soaking them in the husks (silks removed) for a few hours then grilling them for 6-8 minutes over a hot flame which essentially steams them but leaves behind a smoky flavor. Just pull back the husks, and add a dab of butter plus a dash of salt to complete the experience.
But now, after weeks of such enjoyment, I needed something different and tried a corn sauce with pasta recipe inspired by New York Times food writer Melissa Clark. It sounds sort of out of season, but the sauce produces a sweet summery flavor. The starchy nature of the kernels is brought out by pulsing in the blender and they become part of a silky puree. Her recipe used the corn kernels and water alone to make the sauce but I added light cream for some richness. I also used the grill to prepare the corn and to roast the scallions. Cherry tomatoes cut into quarters compete the summer feast.
Pasta with Creamy Corn Sauce (Inspired by New York Times)
1 pound box farfalle or other dried pasta
1 bunch scallions grilled and thinly sliced
2 ears of corn grilled and shucked
¼ cup light cream
2 tbs olive oil
½ dozen cherry tomatoes cut in quarters
Basil leaves,,salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and grated parmesan to taste
Grill corn and scallions. Cut off corn kernels and slice scallions. Reserve ¼ cup kernels for topping. Season and set aside. Place corn kernels in blender or food processor with cream. Pulse till a rich sauce, adding more cream or water as needed.
Prepare farfalle or other pasta per package directions. Place pasta in a hot skillet with a little olive oil and toss. Add corn sauce. Remove from heat and add scallions, cherry tomatoes and basil. Serve with grated parmesan cheese. Can be served hot or at room temperature.
My friends at Sunday Supper Movement have contributed their own ideas about using wonderful fresh corn. Here are their ideas:
- Bacon and Corn Chowder by Latin Meet Lagniappe
- Cajun Baked Shrimp and Corn Dip by The Weekend Gourmet
- Cheesy Corn Tomato Tartlets by Sunday Supper Movement
- Cheesy Grilled Corn Dip by Helpful Homemade
- Crab & Jalapeno Hush Puppies by Simply Healthy Family
- Grilled Corn Salsa by A Mind “Full” Mom
- Indian Cheese Corn Toast: Popular Vegetarian Recipe by Easy Cooking with Molly
- Roasted Corn and Tomato Bruschetta by Monica's Table
- Blueberry Masa Harina Pancakes by Magnolia Days
- Grilled Corn Ravioli Caprese Salad by Food Lust People Love
- Griled Corn and Avocado Salad by Garden Matter
- Grilled Tri Tip and Roasted Corn Salad by The Freshman Cook
- Healthy Corn, Edamame & Avocado Salad by Food Done Light
- Summer Vegetable Salad by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Black Bean Corn Casserole by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Cornbread Waffles with Pulled Pork by Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
- Fresh Corn Fettuccine by Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Fresh Corn Polenta with Summer Vegetables by Caroline's Cooking
- Pasta with Creamy Corn Sauce and Summer Vegetables by Delaware Girl Eats
- Polenta Stuffed Peppers by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Shrimp Corn Chowder by Feeding Big and More
- A-maize-ing Maple Cornbread by Family Around The Table
- Blueberry and Corn Skillet Bread by Wholistic Woman
- Corn Pudding by Bottom Left of the Mitten
- Corn Pudding with Jalapenos and Chiles by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Easy Addictive Corn by Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
- Galey iyo Qumbo (Somali Corn in Coconut Sauce) by Tara’s Multicultural Table
- Honey Cornbread Muffins by Life Tastes Good
- Mealie Bread (South African Sweetcorn Bread) by Curious Cuisiniere
- Jalapeno Popper Cornbread Muffins by The Crumby Cupcake
- Peruvian Grilled Street Corn by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Skillet Corn with Bacon by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Skillet Fried Corn by New South Charm
- Skillet Jalapeno Cornbread by Grumpy's Honeybunch
- Blackberry Cornbread Buckle by Pies and Plots
- Brazilian Corn Cookies by What Smells So Good?
- Easy Cornmeal Budino with Blueberry Marmellata by Cooking With Carlee
- Mais Con Hielo-Corn on Ice by Asian In America
- Margarita Popcorn by The Redhead Baker
- Sweet Corn Ice Cream by Baking Sense
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