Late summer is corn season. It’s the time to enjoy as much corn on the cob, straight from the field, as possible. Seeking out local growers is worthwhile—corn tastes best as soon after harvest as you can manage, before its natural sugars start converting into starches.
When shopping for corn, seek out cobs that feel heavy for their size and are plump and firm, with tight green husks. The silk sticking out at the top should be soft and white to golden, not dark and dried out. If you peel back the husk to take a peek at the kernels, they should come close to the tip and look plump, not shrivelled, which is an indication of moisture loss.
Store corn cobs intact, in their husks, in a paper bag at room temperature for up to a few days. They can be refrigerated, but the cold will accelerate the sugars’ transition. The kernels can also be sliced off and frozen for longer storage. Break cobs in half to make them easier to slice. Then stand each half upright, flat end down, and use a sharp knife to slice the kernels close to the core, from top to bottom. Don’t forget to scrape the corn milk that’s released into whatever you’re preparing—there’s more corn flavour in there!
Corn lends a nutty sweetness to risotto, and this recipe is a great way to use up leftover cobs. You can also add grape tomatoes, chopped mushrooms or spinach along with the corn. Get Julie Van Rosendaal's Corn Risotto recipe here.