Monday, May 23, 2011

Sweet Corn Season Has Begun in San Diego!

white sweet corn from Little Italy farmers market in San Diego

It's May 23rd and fresh sweet corn season has begun in San Diego! Actually, it began about a month ago, but I've been too busy talking about camping, avocados, and pea shoots to focus on its arrival. So today it's all about the corn, baby.

While sweet corn season generally runs from June through September, Southern California's corn season starts in April and lasts through October or November. White corn reigns supreme here, particularly the Silver Queen variety, while bicolor or Butter and Sugar corn, is the next most popular. My personal favorite, thick, fat, canary yellow corn is hard to find, but that doesn't stop me from hunting for it every year.

I purchased this white corn from Kawano Farms, a favorite vendor of mine at The Little Mercato market. It's crisp, mildly sweet, and ideal for sautéing or grilling to enhance its innate sweetness.

In this Warm Quinoa, Corn, and Arugula salad, the corn kernels are lightly sauteed in olive oil and scallions and tossed with peppery arugula and nutty quinoa for a simple,  vibrant lunch.

I heard that a new bicolor corn called Peaches and Cream recently arrived at the Mercato. Peaches and cream corn? Seriously? I'd better bring a heavy duty, extra large garbage bag to fit all the ears of corn I plan on buying this weekend.

warm quinoa, corn, and arugula salad

Warm Quinoa, Corn, and Arugula Salad
Makes 2 main or 4 side servings
Printable recipe.

1/2 cup dry quinoa
1 cup water

1 teaspoon olive oil
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 ear fresh sweet corn, kernels removed from cob (or 1 cup unthawed frozen corn)
3 packed cups arugula

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8-1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Add quinoa and water to a medium pot, and bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Lower heat to a simmer, and cook partially covered for 13 to 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

2. In a medium saute pan over medium-high heat, warm olive oil. Add scallions and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned and wilted. Add corn and cook 2 to 3 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from heat. In a large bowl combine cooked quinoa, scallions and corn, and arugula.

3. To make the vinaigrette, whisk all ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over salad and toss well. Serve immediately.

You might also like these corn recipes:
Elote, or Mexican Grilled Corn recipe from Food Blogga
Smoky Chipotle Chili Corn Chowder recipe from Food Blogga
Spicy Corn with Mustard Seeds recipe from Family Style Food
Texas Jalapeno Sweet Corn Chowder recipe from Rabbit Food Rocks
Columbian Corn Cakes with Fresh Cheese recipe from My Columbian Recipes
Cornmeal Crusted Tilapia with Mango, Corn, and Cucumber Salsa recipe from Food Blogga
Corn Muffins with Poblano Peppers, Fresh Corn, and Queso Fresco Cheese recipe from Cookin Canuck