So you want to know one of my favorite things about summer? Those sheets of corn kernels that fall off the cob when you run your knife down alongside it. There is something so satisfying about their texture. Sure, eating corn right off the cob is pretty fun too, but it can be messy, and kernels get stuck in your teeth inevitably on the day you run out of floss. Corn kernel sheets take the cake for me. If only there was a foolproof way to maximize the number of kernels in a sheet.
This corn and zucchini number is pretty awesome. I put a lot of pressure on myself for making the most of these corn sheets other than just nibbling them up by themselves, and I think I did them justice. I toss sweet corn, tender zucchini, and a spicy chile with zingy red wine vinegar and buttery walnuts. Simple, beautiful, and really delicious. I promise.
Grilling corn, if you have never done it, is so easy. It beats boiling it or even sauteing it because it caramelizes the corn's sugars in the most perfect way. If a grill is not accessible, broiling it is always an option, just be sure to turn it every so often to prevent burning.
Grilled Corn and Zucchini Toss
2 ears of corn, husks and silks removed
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 large zucchini, washed and cut into 1 cm dice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 red chili, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat grill to high. Alternatively, turn your broiler on high. Rub each ear of corn with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Grill or broil, turning occasionally for about 10 minutes or until lightly charred all around. Set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, slice corn off the cob, preserving as many corn sheets as possible, and set aside. I use a small bowl turned upside down in a larger bowl to help catch any rogue kernels (see photo).
Meanwhile, heat a skillet with 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium- high heat. Add diced onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened and slightly golden, about 5-8 minutes. Add zucchini and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook for another 5 minutes or until tender but not mushy. Add sliced red chili and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar.
Carefully combine corn and zucchini mixture. Sprinkle in toasted walnuts and season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy! Serves 4.