Summer and I have been in a bit of a standoff. Summer has been holding out on me--forcing me to wait until AUGUST for the good, fresh, local produce. In fact, when I heard from a friend that local corn was making it's way to the supermarket, my first thought was, "finally!" (Insert childish foot stomping.)
Is it just my imagination or did that early summer rain really push everything back a few weeks? I am trying to remember when it was that I bought fresh corn last year, but I didn't blog about it and you should really know by now that my memory cannot be trusted. It's been so hot in southwest Ohio that it's felt like the peak of summer for a few weeks now, and my patience was wearing thin.
Earlier this week I stopped by my parents' house to have lunch with my mom and borrow an air mattress for my upcoming trip to Chicago. While I was there I mentioned the corn was ready at Fulton Farms, just outside of town, and she suggested we go pick some up. The drive from their house to the farm took me past nearly all of the important landmarks of my youth; the high school football field, the now-closed Mayflower movie theater, and the intersection where I rear-ended my high school boyfriend's car. There are some things I will never forget!
When we arrived, the corn was piled up on wagons at the back of the little market. There were people crowded around it, shucking their corn on site and stuffing shopping bags full of cobs. My mom and I squeezed into a spot along one side of a wagon and opted to keep the husks on in case we wanted to grill the corn. I purchased more than I would need so I could blanch and freeze some extra. The result of my imagined summer-standoff has been preserving summer vegetables in any way I can.
For dinner, I decided to throw together a quick summer salad using the corn. I simply blanched two of the corn cobs and then cut off the corn. Then I tossed it with some halved cherry tomatoes, torn cilantro, olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt, and pepper. Letting it sit for ten or fifteen minutes before eating it allowed the juice of the tomato and fresh corn to be drawn out by the salt and mix with the oil and vinegar. We ate it as a side dish the first night and then on top of grilled fish the second. I'm not offering an exact recipe here because it's all to taste and the substitutions are endless. No cilantro? Use parsley or basil. Instead of the vinegar, squeeze in some fresh lime juice. Want it spicy? Add a minced jalapeno.
Eat up as much summer as you can while it lasts.