I can't believe it's September. Our garden is almost empty as we finish the last of the tomatoes, cucumbers and squash. I long for all of my summer fruits and vegetables from raspberries and blackberries to lettuce, zucchini and green beans. In another month, it will be back to rubbery tomatoes and waxy cukes.
One of the only things we don't grow is corn. We leave that up to Flint Farm in Mansfield. Hands down, they have the BEST local corn around and I know we don't have many weeks left to enjoy this amazingly sweet product. Whether eaten off the cob or shucked for a recipe, nothing beats freshly picked corn.
During the summer,we have enjoyed many corn based recipes but none of them has been as good as this Sweet and Tangy Corn with Roasted Red Peppers from August 2013 Food and Wine Magazine. It's a wonderful recipe for a big crowd and with football season starting this is a great tailgate dish. It can be made ahead of time and can be served cold or at room temperature. You don't have to worry about it spoiling.
When you use local or freshly picked corn you get to experience the sweetness of the corn along with the wonderful tanginess of the dressing. I'm not sure how to correctly describe it but I would say - vegetable candy. The corn, leeks, scallions and roasted red peppers are perfectly complemented with the vinegary sugar dressing. As much as it is a side dish or salad, it is also described as a corn relish to complement a fish or chicken dish. I could eat this stuff cold by itself - it is that GOOD.
If you love local corn the way we do - grab a few ears, 10 to be precise and mix up a dish of Sweet and Tangy Corn with Roasted Red Peppers. It will become the new favorite dish of the Fall sports parties. And if there is any left, hide a dish so you can quietly enjoy the last of the flavors of summer.
Sweet and Tangy Corn with Roasted Red Peppers
3 red bell peppers
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of water
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
10 ears of corn, shucked and kernels cut off the cobs (about 10 cups)
3 medium leeks, light green and white parts only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1 cup of thinly sliced scallions, preferably red (about 8 scallions)
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Roast the peppers, one of three ways 1. directly over a gas flame 2. under a preheated broiler or 3. on a grill. Turn peppers until charred all over, about 5-10 minutes. Place the charred peppers in a large bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow the peppers to cool completely. Peel the black charred skin from the peppers. Seed, stem and cut into 1/3-inch pieces.
2. In a small saucepan, mix the sugar with the water and cook over medium heat without stirring until lightly golden in color. This process takes about 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Add the vinegar to the sugar mixture and cook until the caramel color dissolves, about 1 minute. Allow the mixture to cool.
4. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil with one tablespoon of salt. Blanch the corn kernels and sliced leeks until crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain the corn and leeks and cool.
5. In a large bowl, toss the corn, leeks and roasted peppers. Add the scallions and the sugar mixture. Use salt and pepper to taste.
6. Place into a large plate and enjoy this amazing dish.