| Corn relish. Photo: bookgrl/ Flickr.
Fresh herbs, cut just that morning, perfume the air: sultry thyme, sprightly parsley and rosemary for remembrance. Sweet onions tumble out of bushel baskets and into burlap bags. Piles of peppers fight for your attention in red, green, orange, yellow and even black. And who can resist fresh ears of satiny corn?
As you lug all of your fresh produce home, don't worry -- as always, we've got your back. Beyond the jump is an original recipe to use that corn, those peppers and those onions to make a quick, fresh corn relish.
This relish has a Southwestern twang, but it can accompany virtually anything coming off of your grill for Fourth of July barbecues, from juicy burgers and seared steaks to perfectly smoked chicken. And if the summer corn is too irresistible to resist buying a bushel, you can double the recipe and send some home with your guests.
It is a good idea to wear food-safe gloves for steps five through nine -- they keep the jalapeño oils from burning your skin, and also ease mixing the ingredients together. This is not a relish for canning, but leftovers -- if there are any -- will keep for up to a week, refrigerated.
6 ears fresh corn
1 small green pepper
1 small red pepper
1 small orange pepper
1 medium jalapeño chili
1 bunch white onions
1 bunch fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Shuck the corn and remove the silk. Use a sharp knife to chop off the stem end of each ear. Stand the cut end on a cutting board and steady the ear at the top. Slice downward to remove the kernels and then slide the kernels into a colander.
2. Rinse the corn, picking out any stray silks. Rinse the cilantro (you will only be using the leaf end) and set aside on a double layer of paper toweling.
3. Fill a large saucepan with water, add a dash of salt and bring to a boil. Dump the cleaned kernels into the water and cook just until tender, approximately 2-3 minutes. Drain the cooked corn and set aside to cool.
4. Meanwhile, prep the peppers: Slice both ends off and set aside for another use. Run the knife around the inside of the pepper to remove the core with the seeds and any raised ribs of white pith. Slice each seeded pepper in half and lay each half flat on the cutting board. Cut into dice and place in a large mixing bowl.
5. Slice the cap off of the jalapeño and discard. Slice the jalapeño in half. Use a small sharp knife to remove the white pith and seeds. Lay each half flat on the cutting board. Mince each half and place in the mixing bowl with the peppers. Add a generous sprinkling of salt and, still wearing your gloves, gently mix the peppers with your hands.
6. Remove the stem and root ends of the onions and chop to equal about 1 cup. Add to the pepper mixture and gently mix.
7. Chop the leaf ends of the cilantro to equal about 3/4 cup packed tightly. Add to the pepper-onion mixture and gently mix.
8. Run the limes across the counter with your palm to express the juice. Chop each lime in half and squeeze over the pepper-onion mixture, holding your free hand under each half to catch and discard any seeds.
9. Add the vinegar and olive oil to the pepper-onion mixture. Gently stir with your hands.
10. Once the corn is cool enough to handle, stir it into the pepper-onion mixture. Season with freshly ground pepper; add salt if needed.
11. Refrigerate until ready to serve.