When it comes to sweet, summer corn, I am the mom in WarGames. There are many ways to cook corn, but I like it raw, and I make it my duty to remind everyone every summer that they too can enjoy uncooked corn. It’s not only crisp, but incredibly sweet and juicy, and tastes fantastic right off of the cob, no heat required.
I discovered my love for raw corn while pickling it. A stray kernel bounced off the cutting board and onto the counter, and I picked it up and popped it into my mouth on a whim. Suddenly, cooking corn seemed like a scam. This corn was already perfect, and had no need for heat, butter, or any other kind of lily gilding. (Note: Do not try this with field corn, or out of season corn of any kind. You will be disappointed.)
Realizing I didn’t have to cook corn was a game-changer for me, and opened up a whole new world of raw wonder. You can slice the corn right off the cob and toss it into a salad, use it as a taco or gazpacho topper, or finish it simply with a drizzle of olive oil, fresh herbs, and salt. The fresh, juicy kernels are bursting with so much sweet flavor, you won’t even miss the grill marks. Plus, it’s one more thing you don’t have to cook, and no-cook foods are the saviors of summer.
Get the tools you need to tackle corn season:
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Once you’ve removed the kernels from the cob, take care not to neglect the cob itself, for there is more flavor to be had. Start by milking the cob, which sounds filthy, but it’s the right thing to do. The lingering little bits of corn contain all sorts of wonderful sugars and starches, and those should be mixed into whatever you’re preparing, especially salads. The sugar adds a fresh, light sweetness, and the starch mixes with whatever dressing you’re using, helping it cling the kernels (and any other vegetables in your salad).
Milk the cobs by scraping down the sides with the blade of your knife, with the cob positioned over a bowl to catch the juices. Once they’re spent, you should place the cobs in a freezer bag, and save them for corn stock. Corn stock is golden, sweet, and the perfect grit cooking liquid. Whatever grits you make can be served with more raw sweet corn, which closes the circle while providing more cobs for your stock. (A perfect system, if you will.)