Summer - Corny & Sweet

The temperature has made it into the 90s recently which has made it a “three showers a day” type of week.  Amid trying to stay cool, we’re lacking in motivation to turn on the oven.  Ice cold popsicles and the pool seem to be the best ways to stay cool.

In addition to bringing out a fun pair of espadrilles and large brim hats, one of the fun things about summer is the abundance of corn at the farmer’s market (remember, I love buying vegetables!).  There is also something appealing about keeping things simple when the weather is hot.  Any dinner that can be made without an oven, that would heat the house, makes things quick and easy.

The sweet taste, creamy texture and bright yellow color makes corn such a summer favorite!  It’s starchy properties can thicken a dish as well as provide that yummy, “corny” flavor.  For a minimal cooking kind of recipe, we think you’ll like this pasta salad.  You will definitely want to use the back of a knife or spoon to scrape the goodness off on the cob even after you cut off the kernels.

Mike and I hope this provides some inspiration, and relief from the oven, as we all continue to enjoy the sun and warm weather.

Stay cool,

XXO The Hen

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Recipe

  • 1 lb. orzo
  • 1/2 cup - 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 of a small red onion
  • Kernels from 3 fresh ears of yellow or white corn
  • 1 can 2.25 oz. black olives
  • Handful finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tablespoon pickled jalapeños 
  • 1 Tablespoon (or to taste) Spicy Rooster Everything Blend

Directions

Step 1: Using a medium sized pot, put in half of the orzo (no oil); set the rest aside.  Toast half of the orzo in the oil-less pot for a few minutes, stirring frequently.  Once slightly toasted and light brown, add the rest of the orzo that was set aside and add enough water to cook orzo to package directions until al dente.  Once al dente, drain and set aside to cool.  

Step 2: Heat up the grill, shuck the corn, wrap each ear of corn in foil and place on the grill for approximately 20 minutes (give or take depending on your grill).  There are other methods for grilling corn but I think shucking it first and using the foil makes it easy.

Step 3: While the corn is grilling, drain the black olives, jalapeños and finely chop the cilantro.  Also, finely chop red onion.

Optional Step: If you don’t love raw onion, put the red wine vinegar in a jar and soak the finely chopped red onion in the vinegar while you’re prepping the other ingredients.  Soaking the onion in vinegar mellows the taste.  Then, continue with step 4.

Step 4: Once corn is cooked and cooled, cut off the cob.  Don’t forget to use the back of your knife to scape off the creamy part of the corn that gives a lot of flavor.  Whisk the oil, vinegar, and Spicy Rooster Everything blend.  Assemble all ingredients and toss to incorporate.

Note: I tend prep the corn and orzo the day before just to make things easy.  Also, this summer salad tastes particularly good after it sits in the fridge overnight and all of the great flavors mix together.  You might need to top-up the oil and vinegar a bit the next day as the orzo likes to soak up the flavors.

Fun Additions: Broccoli, baby spinach, or avocado.

 

 

 

 

Mike Lutz