It’s always hard to believe that there comes a time in the year when I think, “I’ve just had too much corn.”

Roasted on the grill with a splash of lime or blanched and slathered with butter, we’ve been eating it night after night as the main dish with a side of thickly sliced tomatoes and grilled bruschetta. But now I’m ready for some variety — succotash, corn salads, pasta, corn pudding.

Our farmers are growing a range of organic varieties, such as Ruby Jewel, Sugar Pearl, Brocade, Painted Mountain. This year a new variety corn, dubbed “Who Gets Kissed,” hit the market, developed by Martin Diffley, who with his wife, Atina, introduced us to wonderful heirloom corn when they farmed Gardens of Eagan.

Don’t limit your enjoyment of corn to the kernels. The cobs make wonderful stock and syrup. Simply put the cobs into a large pot, cover with cold water, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Add a few herbs and you have a fine broth to use in soups and sautés. Or, stir in a little brown sugar or honey and continue cooking until it thickens into syrup. This is wonderful on blueberry corn pancakes and cornbread, or drizzled over vanilla ice cream.

One of the best ways to preserve a bounty of corn for the colder months is to make corn relish. It’s quick and easy, delicious served right away or keeps several weeks in the refrigerator; it also freezes nicely. As with any corn recipe, the key is to not to overcook it. Enjoy now and save some for later.


Beth Dooley is a Minneapolis author and cooking instructor.