Corn is one of my favorite vegetables, and I buy it pretty much every week throughout summer. I savor the abundance of corn at the farmers market every weekend and dread the day when it’s no longer in season. The thing is, though, I rarely use corn as anything other than a side dish. I love grilled corn on the cob, and there are so many ways to change it up (read: compound butters), but I really wanted to showcase corn as a main course. I’ve only got one other recipe on my blog that does this, which is unacceptable for someone who loves corn the way I do.
This recipe is one of those ambiguous ones that could work for breakfast/brunch, lunch or dinner. The recommended side was deli ham crisped under a broiler. I don’t really like ham and wanted something more substantial than that anyway. Luckily for me, Eric whipped up a batch of bacon and white balsamic vinaigrette, which he tossed with baby arugula, red onion, goat cheese and bacon. It was pretty fantastic, and I liked the play on breakfast by incorporating bacon into the salad and dressing. The salad was perfect with the corn cakes, which turned out much better than I expected. I wasn’t sure how flavorful they’d be, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed them. The corn really shines, which is exactly what I wanted. The zucchini adds a pop of color and an extra dimension of flavor and texture. I especially liked that there was just enough batter to hold the cakes together. The outside was browned and crunchy, and the corn kernels retained their pop. The tangy goat cheese added a nice contrast to the sweet corn and really helped tie the whole meal together. I don’t normally think of corn cakes and a tossed salad as elegant, but this was definitely close.
- YIELD: 2 servings
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1½ cups corn kernels (from 2 ears corn)
½ cup diced zucchini (about half of a small zucchini)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 green onion, very thinly sliced
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons cornmeal
Goat cheese, crumbled, for serving
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Add the corn and zucchini and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the vegetables are slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and allow to cool for 5 minutes before mixing in the green onion, egg and cornmeal.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Using a ¼ cup measure, scoop mixture into skillet. Cook for about 3 minutes, until the bottom is nicely browned. Flip and continue cooking an additional 2-3 minutes until cakes are completely cooked through. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with goat cheese. Serve immediately.