Archive for the 'corn' Category



I know a recipe is good if I’m still thinking about it three weeks later. Yesterday I picked up six ears of corn at the Tower Grove Farmer’s Market because I needed to make this again. Sweet corn kernels, limas, garbanzos, tomatoes tossed with tarragon and a champagne vinaigrette. It’s so amazingly addictive. Hands down, this is my favorite find this summer.

I adapted this from a recipe on the Williams-Sonoma website.  There is a lot of wiggle room here — grill the corn, or boil it. Use other varieties of beans, such as fava, or use different herbs. But please, do include tarragon. The hint of licorice and the sweet tang of the vinaigrette is what really make this work.

I took some of this over to my friend Christine, who had twin boys five months ago. Yes, it’s taken me five months to take food to her. I also took her my mom’s chicken tetrazzini — 80’s comfort food at its best.  Better late than never, right?

And few things are better than summer veggies in late July. Sweet corn, multi-colored tomatoes, fragrant herbs. Before I turn you loose with this recipe, know that this may take longer to make than you’d expect. Plan for 45 minutes if you use corn on the cob. The only problem here is you’ll end up with more vinaigrette than you’ll need. This is best at room temperature. I can say with near certainty that it’s nothing like the succotash you grew up with.

adapted from

For the Champagne vinaigrette:

1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 T Champagne vinegar
2 T Dijon mustard
1 shallot, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. white pepper


6 ears of corn, husks and silks removed
3 to 4 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups frozen lima beans
1 1/2 cups frozen edamame
1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded and diced
10 to 12 cherry or tear-drop tomatoes, halved lengthwise
2 T chopped fresh basil
2 T chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 T chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

To make the vinaigrette, in a bowl, combine the grapeseed oil and olive oil in a measuring cup with a spout. In a nonaluminum bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, shallot, salt and white pepper. Add the oils in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly. Use immediately, or cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Bring a pot three-fourths full of salted water to a boil over high heat. Boil corn for 10 minutes. Rinse under cold water. Remove kernels with a paring knife, running the knife down the cob vertically. Put corn in a large bowl. Boil edamame and lima beans according to package instructions.

In a large bowl, combine the corn kernels, chickpeas, lima beans, vine-ripened and teardrop tomatoes, basil, parsley, tarragon and onion. Drizzle with 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette and toss gently to coat. Season with salt and black pepper.

Serve with the remaining vinaigrette on the side. Serves 6 to 8.


Fresh Corn Spoon Bread

Let me get this out of the way. This isn’t really bread.

It’s more or less a souffle with corn meal. It’s best eaten with a spoon. It’s very southern, very simple, and all about corn, which was the main appeal.

Summer is full of food like this.  In the Midwest, the farmers’ markets are bursting with possibilities. Right now sweet corn is one of them. In about a month corn will be about over. I came across this recipe Friday night and wanted to try it immediately.

Sweet corn reminds me of my childhood. Summertime was lightning bugs, swimming, and corn from my dad’s garden. He would pick a few ears as my mom heated the water. She’d shuck, boil and serve the corn minutes later. I’d smear some butter and a little salt, and eat it with mini-plastic corn cobs sticking out the sides.  There was nothing like it. Sadly, I can’t grow corn in our tiny garden. Farmers’ market corn is a close second. Supermarket corn doesn’t come close.

Spoon bread in some corners of the south is like clam chowder in New England. Everyone claims theirs is the best. They all have cornmeal and milk as a base, and eggs of course.  Don’t let the souffle comparison here scare you. Spoon bread is simple to make. It doesn’t take much time (about 30 minutes active time) and will impress the heck out of anyone who tastes it. The recipe here says serve immediately. Like a souffle, spoon bread will deflate. However, as long as it’s still warm, you should be OK. I made this as a side to some grilled fish Saturday night. Sunday morning, I took the leftovers out of the fridge, stuck part of the spoon bread in the microwave, and it was still moist and delicious.

Continue reading ‘Fresh Corn Spoon Bread’


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