It's corn season, and my mouth is watering just looking at all the fresh market stands on the side of the road.
Sunday drives are on the to-do list for legions of fans who are smitten by the rows and rows of sweet corn fields dotting the highways. Corn is not only hordes of generations' go-to side dish for dinners everywhere, it's spectacularly a low-effort, high-reward way to feed and please a crowd.
The masterful thing about this sweet corn salad is the way the exterior takes on a dark, glossy, toasty color. It's a simple variation from the traditional - more messy manner in which to eat corn-on-the-cob. It's sweet, salty and tangy all together, and it took almost nothing to make this happen. The ingredients couldn't be simpler (got corn? Got vegetables?).
Most of all, it's an economical twist on an old farm staple. If you add meat to this, it's a complete quick meal. I can remember eating cobs of corn right off the stalk. I wouldn't wait to par-boil, steam or fry the corn.
Being fully aware that cooking the sweet kernels was not necessary, I was completely in the dark about the nutritional value of eating raw corn. It was a natural to eat uncooked corn as picking a ripe tomato off the vine before I ran it up the hill to mommy.
The good news about corn, long after the last cob is picked, this little dish can still be inhaled as if summer never ended. It's one of the few vegetables I deem as delicious frozen as it is fresh.
This, this is my jam, uh, I mean the kind of side dish or main course that I get enthusiastic about these days. It's a wonderful, fresh take on a traditional garden staple. It's corn - just not on the cob - and it's served with a few friends.
SWEET CORN SALAD
6-12 ears of corn cut off the cob
3 T. olive oil
1 T. butter
1 cup tomatoes chopped
1 cucumbers chopped
1/2 red onion chopped
1/2 cup chopped parsley
2 lemons (squeezed juice)
1/2 cup feta cheese
3 cloves garlic
In a large skillet, place the olive oil and butter. Fry the corn until golden (3 minutes, and then flip it over and fry 3 minutes). Toss this in a large bowl with the rest of the ingredients and serve.
Janet McCormick is the author of "10-Minute Meals" and owner of Let's Eat in Huntington. She lives in Lawrence County, Ohio. She can be reached at 304-654-2003 or www.10-minutemeals.com.