At my favorite local farm stand, Serene Green in Noyac, the corn is spectacular. Corn everywhere in the Hamptons had a dull start this year, to be honest, probably due to polar vortexes, droughts, floods, etc. But now it’s sweet and popping with flavor. A simple grilled corn (olive oil, sea salt, wrapped in foil and thrown on the grill) is always a delight. So is a lightly steamed or blanched cob with butter. Never boil corn! My favorite way to eat corn lately is in a salad, raw.
This past Friday, while at the Hayground Farmers Market, I was given something special by the lovely Sabra and Ella, who run the Hayground School stand and grow perhaps the best tomatoes around: “Haymatoes.” In my bag of multicolored cherry tomatoes and zucchini was placed a tiny, dark green pepper. “What kind is it?” I asked my son, who also works at the stand. He answered, “That’s the thing, we don’t know. It just appeared in the garden this year. It’s a mystery pepper.”
Upon tasting, the pepper turned out to be what I think is a hybrid poblano-Italian fry-pepper. It was sharp, a little spicy, with a distinctive bell pepper finish. Chopped finely, in it went into a salad with raw kernels cut from the cob, a generous handful of basil and some other things lurking in my garden and kitchen. Delicious! I could have eaten the whole bowl myself. But then my husband came home and said, “What’s for dinner?” and I had to share it. Luckily, there are more peppers and tomatoes coming up, long into September.
Late Summer Raw Corn Salad
3 corn cobs, husked, with raw kernels scraped into a large bowl
½ avocado, cut into pieces
Handful of ribboned fresh basil
½chopped fine small red onion,
½ poblano or similar pepper
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
¾ cup cherry tomatoes of various color, sliced into halves or quarters
Dash of sea salt
Black pepper to taste
Juice of ½ lime
¼ cup virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar reduction
Toss everything but the avocado in bowl. Add avocado and toss lightly once more. Serve.