My office often produces blaring false fire alarms. Sometimes it produces actual fire alarms.
Once in a while, it produces clouds of poisonous ammonia gas, and sometimes they clean the grease traps. I really can’t begin to describe how ghastly a large grease trap smells if you’ve never had the pleasure.
So why do I stick around? Well, my job involves food writing and food research. And occasionally my office also produces something joyous, like sweet corn so fresh, it’s less than 120 minutes away from the field where it was picked.
Sweet corn so juicy, so prime, you don’t even have to heat it. The sugars haven’t yet turned to starch.
Shuck an ear, lean over the cubicle trash bin, close your eyes, take a bite and pretend you can’t hear the fire alarms sounding. Again.
That said, if you have corn that’s a bit older than fresh-from-the-field, I recommend you cook it a bit to keep it from tasting too starchy. How can you tell if corn is super-fresh? Have a nibble. If it’s juicy and candy-sweet, it’s fresh. If it tastes starchy or has dimples, it’s probably a bit older. And slightly older corn is still usually fine for cornbread and chowders.
Of course, the freshest fresh corn is divine straight off the cob with butter (a classic) but I also recommend this fresh corn salad, which makes a great side dish or a light lunch option alongside a soup or sandwich.
Fresh Corn Salad (Serves 4) 5 ears of fresh corn 1 small red onion, diced 2-3 Tsbp apple cider vinegar 3 Tbsp olive oil 1/2 cup feta (optional) 1/4 cup fresh-chopped herbs (I like basil, parsley or marjoram or chervil) Salt and pepper, to taste
- Boil a large pot of salted water.
- Cook the ears of corn for about 3 minutes. Remove from the water with tongs and cool quickly in ice water.
- Use a knife to cut the strip the kernels from the ear in a filleting motion.
- Collect the kernels in a mixing bowl and combine with the red onion, vinegar, oil. Toss to coat.
- Gently mix in the feta and herbs.
- Taste, and season to your liking with salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately or chill until you’re ready to eat it.