With the 4th of July fast approaching, farmers markets will be well stocked with many of these iconic traditional items needed for your holiday spreads.
Among them, new potatoes for a tasty potato salad; seedless watermelon for wedges, grilling or adding to a fruit salad; and tender baby green beans perfect for tossing with crumbled bacon and slivered almonds for a delicious salad. And, of course, there are fresh peaches, an array of berries and early season apples to end the day with a pie, crisp or cobbler.
One item that I have yet to come across that many will be looking for are these fresh cobs of sweet corn. It is entirely possible that a few cases will appear by the weekend for shoppers at the Saturday morning farmers’ market.
In the meantime, however, I really enjoyed the McGrath family farm’s organic baby baby corn. When peeled, they are only a few centimeters long and no more than half an inch thick. They are quite delicious eaten raw right out of the husk, as well as cooked.
Eaten whole, these tiny specimens offer a nice subtle sweetness, crunchy texture and remarkable corn flavor.
Baby corn is harvested very early before pollination, just after the silks are visible outside the husk. The McGrath Family Farm sells two different varieties of baby corn, which I found equally delicious.
Baby corn is great when quickly grilled or sautéed, as well as added to soups and stews. I’ve added baby corn to both a chicken tortilla type soup and a curry mix for the past two weeks. The little ears can also be marinated or fried for unique preparations.
For this week’s recipe, I sautéed my baby corn on the cob with Chinese eggplant, Italian frying peppers and red spring onions, which are all ingredients that are just in season.
It is a very tasty seasonal vegetable side dish that goes well with most proteins, as well as on rice or pasta dishes.
Baby corn sautéed with Chinese eggplant and peppers
10 cobs of baby corn
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 Chinese or Japanese eggplants, ends removed, halved lengthwise, then sliced into half rounds
2-3 Italian bell peppers (or any bell pepper) seeds and stem discarded, sliced
1/2 medium spring onion, sliced
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt (or adjust to taste)
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
Remove the husk and silk from the baby corn and set aside. Add olive oil to a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Brown the eggplants, peppers and onions, turning them every two minutes.
Season with a little of your seasoned salt and granulated garlic. After about 4-5 minutes, add the baby corn and sauté, seasoning the corn with additional salt and seasoned garlic.
Cook until desired texture is reached, which is usually about 3-4 minutes once the corn is added. Yield: For 3-4 people.