Sweet corn is officially in season. The end of July is the time when stands selling sweet corn seem to pop up everywhere: along county highways, at farmers markets, on street corners.

Sweet corn is officially in season. The end of July is the time when stands selling sweet corn seem to pop up everywhere: along county highways, at farmers markets, on street corners.

Near me, there’s an old guy who sets up a roadside stand every summer. I always notice the guy around the first part of July, when I see his covered pickup truck parked across the street from the Highway Café.

The back of the truck is popped open to reveal his treasure: sweet corn, peaches and a few melons.

This summer, the old guy has some competition: Employees from Midwest Control Products, a metal fabrication factory based in Bushnell, Ill., are selling produce grown in a company garden.

So far the MCP garden has produced sweet corn, green beans, squash, peppers and onions, to name just a few, and more vegetables are on the way.

The MCP employees also sell produce at a garden site.

The MCP garden also serves a purpose beyond providing the local community with fresh produce: The garden was started by the company as an “alternative work” project to keep employees working during tough economic times.

The following salsa recipe is tasty way to use sweet corn. All the ingredients, except for the citrus juice and spices, can be purchased at any farmers market or roadside stand.


Sweet corn-peach salsa

4 ears sweet corn, shucked and silks removed
2 large peaches
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1 1/2 tsp. lemon or lime juice
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
Extra-virgin olive oil
Optional: 2 small jalapeno peppers, finely chopped

Prepare a grill for medium-high heat or heat up a stovetop grill pan. At the same time, bring a large pot of water to boil.

Brush some olive oil on each ear of corn and grill until lightly charred in spots.

Set aside the corn and let it cool.

Meanwhile, cut an X through the skin on the bottom of each peach.

Drop the peaches in the boiling water and cook for one minute, then immediately plunge them in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.

Peel the peaches, starting at the X, then chop.

Carefully cut the grilled corn off the cobs. Toss the corn, peaches, tomatoes, onion and basil together in a large bowl. In a small bowl, blend one and half tablespoons olive oil with the lemon juice, salt and cumin. Pour over the vegetables and peaches; lightly toss to combine.

Serve:

- Over chicken breast, steak or fish

- As a hearty salad by adding canned, drained and rinsed black beans and crumbled feta  cheese

- As a quesadilla filling by adding shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Got a recipe you would like to see published? Send it to lainie@MacombJournal.com.

Cutting corn off the cob

There are all kinds of gadgets that remove corn kernels from the cob, but you don’t any fancy tools. Just grab a knife and exercise caution.

Remove kernels by standing the ear of corn upright on a cutting board. Using a sharp utility or chef’s knife, cut the kernels straight down along the corn cob to free numerous rows of kernels at the same time.

— RecipeTips.com