If there is a time to eat raw corn, it’s in the summer. For the home-grower, you arrive straight from the garden. Your shoes get kicked off, mud washed from your hands, and then barefooted, you head straight back outside. From there, you start tearing. First it’s the rough husk that falls to the ground, then the silky strands that lay beneath.
This was my childhood. If you can’t tell, I’m still a little nostalgic for the days when a backyard existed just outside my bedroom. Especially one with a small corn forrest in its corner.
Currently, as I live out my urban dwelling days, I’m more of a farmer’s market shopper. Although, this too can open up opportunities for raw corn consumption. In this instance, you truck home with a boundless bounty of dinner options, and with no room left in the fridge, Cholula bottles and dirty mugs get thrown aside. A local-grown bag of corn takes the counter-side space. And from there, you get shucking your mid-afternoon snack while dreaming up what to make for dinner.
In either situation, your stomach will be empty, your corn sweet. Summertime is the only time that corn is ever sweet enough, and not too starchy, to eat straight from the cob, no cooking in between. In times of ravenous impatience, fresh corn becomes a luxury.
As I’ve told in recent posts, I’ve been working a farmer’s market every Saturday throughout the summer. After hot mornings spent outside, I generally return home famished, with little desire to turn on the stove. This past weekend proved no different, which left me delving straight into my newly acquired 1/2 dozen of corn. Taking ten minutes to boil water? Get real. I went straight for the raw cobs with little time to waste. Two ears later, I felt alive again, and decided I should really start cooking some of the other produce I left sitting out on the table. Like the collards that were quickly beginning to wilt. I mean…who has time to put greens in the fridge when there’s corn waiting to be eaten? Obviously not me.
I continued on with the raw corn theme, tossing it with some lime and butter to top off this summer side. Feel free, however, to steam the corn beforehand, especially if your cobs aren’t particularly fresh. Either way works to add some sweet crunch to this creamy, but light, nutrient-packed dish. It’s a bowl you can easily pass around at a potluck or friend/family dinner, and an excellent way to get some veggies onto the plate.
- -2 large bunches (7-8 packed cups chopped) collards, stems/ribs removed
- -3 Tbsp. butter or (or olive oil, if vegan), divided
- -1 large onion, diced
- -1/2 bell pepper, diced
- -1 Tbsp. cumin
- -2 tsp. ginger, minced
- -1 cup light coconut milk
- -Salt, to taste
- -1 cup corn cut off the cob, either steamed or raw (your choice - steam it if corn is not super sweet)
- -1/2 small lime, squeezed
- -Hot sauce
- In a large pot, place a steamer basket. Fill pot with water until water just reaches the bottom of the basket. Bring to a boil. Add collards, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp. butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper, and saute for 3-4 minutes. Stir in ginger and cumin, and season with salt. Continue to saute, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent.
- When greens are done, drain, and then add to the saute pan. Season salt around then pan, and then cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Transfer ingredients to a blender (or use an immersion blender), and blend until smooth, adding coconut milk halfway through. In a small bowl, toss corn with remaining Tbsp. of butter and lime juice, and season with salt and pepper.
- Place creamed collards in a serving dish. Drizzle with hot sauce of your choice and top with buttered corn. Serve.