My obsession with all things corn probably isn’t a secret at this point. I love it. I love it so much. Since corn has a pretty short season here in New York, and considering my (un?)healthy affinity for those sweet kernels of heavenly joy, it’s going to be a corn-palooza up in here for the next week or so.
My favorite and semi-famous corn creation is this Spicy Southwest Corn. It still amazes me how much people love it… I mean, it’s so ridiculously easy to make. But now there’s a new side dish vying for my attention. Our friends Joe and Lisa made this when they invited us over for dinner and I probably ate half of the bowl. Okay maybe 3/4.
It’s such a simple recipe, but the flavors are so elegant and fresh. It really let’s the corn shine. And since there isn’t a whole lot of ingredients here, it’s of the utmost importance that you use fresh corn. Like super fresh corn.
Corn apparently loses a whole bunch of its sugars within the first day it is picked, so use it quick. And if you need to store it, make sure to do so in the refrigerator, with the husks still on. That’ll at least slow down the sugar to starch conversion.
And hey, good news for entertaining. You can totally make this a few hours ahead of time and then throw in the basil right before serving. Don’t be tempted to put in the basil ahead of time or it will turn all brown and yucky.
Oh, and I should have mentioned… like so many simple recipes that are absolutely superb, this one comes from Ina Garten (a.k.a. The Barefoot Contessa). She definitely knows how to make simple foods taste extraordinary.
Simple Corn and Basil Salad
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: Approximately 6 servings
- 5 ears of corn, husks and silk removed
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Handful of fresh basil leaves
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a full boil. Cook corn for 4 minutes, until the starch is cooked off but the corn is still a bit crisp. Drain corn and immediately place corn in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process for approximately 4-5 minutes. Cut kernels off the cob and place in a medium bowl.
- Combine corn kernels with red onion, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, chiffonade the basil leaves: stack basil leaves on top of each other and roll up into a “cigar” shape. Thinly slice basil leaves across the “cigar” into tiny strips. Toss in the chiffonade basil, taste for seasonings and serve.
- Can be made a few hours ahead of time without the basil. Add basil just before serving.