Columns | Sauk Valley News

Beyond Trim: All ears for nutritious sweet corn recipes

Sweet corn may be the food that best signifies that high summer is finally here.

I know people who follow local growers on social media and rush to the farmstand as soon as there is corn available so they can get their fix. I don’t blame them; I love it, too!

A simple ear of corn is delicious on its own, but why not try it in other ways while it’s fresh and in season?

Here are two of my favorite fresh corn recipes. One is a nice cool salad that requires no cooking. The other is a simple soup that’s perfect for those occasional cooler days.

Fresh Corn Salad

  • One-quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • One-quarter cup of fresh lemon juice (about two lemons)
  • Two cloves of fresh garlic, minced
  • Four ears of fresh sweet corn, cut off the cob
  • One small zucchini, sliced thin
  • 1 cup of grape tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 10 large leaves of fresh basil, cut into thin ribbons
  • One-quarter cup of crumbled feta cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk olive oil and lemon juice in the bottom of a large bowl. Stir in minced garlic. Add corn, zucchini, tomatoes, basil and cheese. Toss ingredients to coat in the dressing. Refrigerate. Eight servings; 150 calories per serving.

Sweet Corn Soup

  • 1 tablespoon of butter or margarine
  • Half a cup of diced sweet onion
  • Half a cup of diced red bell pepper
  • One clove of garlic – pressed or minced (or substitute with half a teaspoon of garlic powder)
  • Four ears of sweet corn, cooked, cleaned and removed from cob (about 4 cups). Reserve the cob.
  • 4 cups of low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh minced herbs (basil or thyme)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally for about five minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add corn, corn cobs and vegetable broth to the pot. Bring mixture to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium-low.

Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the cobs from the soup. Use an immersion blender to process the soup to desired consistency. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can remove a portion of the soup to a blender to process and then return it to the pot. Stir in the herbs. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Four servings; 182 calories per serving.

I show you tricks for using fresh sweet corn and how to prepare these recipes plus many more in my blog at www.whatscookingcgh.com.

Sherry DeWalt is the healthy lifestyles coordinator for the CGH Health Foundation in Sterling.