Posts Tagged ‘Nikki Ciesluk’

Corn Moon

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009


Last weekend we celebrated not only Labor Day but the Corn Moon–the golden September full moon that marks the height of the corn harvest.
Corn is the perfect late-summer vegetable. Its color reflects the hues of the sun and the goldenrod-filled fields. Its subtly sweet taste reminds us to savor summer’s beauty while we still have it.
A few years back I tasted my first corn salsa, created by Nikki Ciesluk. Nikki’s family runs an attractive, abundant farm stand in Deerfield, Massachusetts, that specializes in sweet corn. Her salsa, which was featured in Yankee magazine, made me want to make some of my own.
Somehow I never got around to making it, however–until this past corn moon. Our dear friends the Kubaseks came to visit and brought farm-fresh corn. Grilling it took a little time and effort, but Bill the Grillmeister was up to the challenge.
When the salsa was finally ready to eat, 18-year-old Jasi said, “This is the best salsa I have ever tasted.” High praise!
A note: like most salsas, this one will vary a bit depending on the heat of the peppers used and the moisture content of the tomatoes. When I made a second batch I used an unidentified pepper from my garden that turned out to be VERY hot. I toned it down by adding a bit of honey to the salsa, but next time I’ll make sure I know what sort of pepper I’m throwing in.
A second note: don’t forget to wear gloves when you cut up your hot pepper!
Bill and Jasi man the grill

Bill and Jasi man the grill.

Grilled Corn Salsa
3 small ears or 2 large ears corn
olive oil as needed for roasting
1 medium-hot pepper (you could go as mild as an ancho or an Anaheim or as hot as a jalpeño, but don’t stray too far in either direction), seeded and cut up
1/2 bell pepper–green, red, or orange–finely diced
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
the juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon salt
a handful of cilantro, chopped
1/2 tomato, diced
Preheat your grill. Brush (with a brush or paper towels) the corn with olive oil and grill it until it begins to brown just a bit (about 12 minutes), turning frequently. Let it cool for a few minutes; then cut the kernels off.
In a bowl combine the peppers, onion, lime juice, salt, and cilantro. Stir in the tomato, followed by the corn kernels.
Serve as a side dish or with tortilla chips. Makes about 2 cups.
grilled corn web