Meet at the market: beneath the husk

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Each week we meet up with Katie Hershfelt of Cultivate Events as she chats with farmers, chefs and shoppers at the Santa Barbara Farmers’ Market.

This week, she met up with Jesse Gruenberg from Lane Farms. The Lane family has been farming the Santa Barbara and Goleta area since 1868. Jesse helped plant the corn that is now hitting their market stand, and shares a special thing to look out for when picking corn.

6 things you might not know about corn…

    • Bi-Color corn is a hybrid between yellow and white corn.
    • If you find worms at the top of your corn, take it as a good sign. It normally means the corn is fresh and organic!
    • When corn is this good, you don’t need to cook it. Try it raw, on its own or in a salad.
    • Corn grills best in the husks. Soak them in water before, which will keep the husks from drying out and burning up.
    • If boiling, don’t cook over 3 minutes. “You really only want to heat it up enough so that butter will melt on it,” says John Lane of Lane Farms.
    • It’s great on pizza. Cut it right off the cob and mix it with other veggies, cheese and maybe some pesto.
See the worm in there? It means the corn is fresh and was grown organically! (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

Grilled Corn with Jalapeño ButterIMG_20150623_161859735_HDR

Serves 6

      • 2 sticks unsalted butter, soft
      • 1 large jalapeño pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped fine
      • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
      • Salt and pepper, to taste
      • 6 ears corn
      • 4 oz ricotta salata cheese, grated

For the butter:

In a mixing bowl, combine the butter, diced roasted jalapeño, and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the corn:

Pull the outer husks down the ear to the base. Strip away the silk from each ear of corn by hand. Fold husks back into place, and place the ears of corn in a large bowl of cold water for at least 3 hours (or up to 24)

Remove corn from water and shake off excess. Place the corn on the grill, close the cover and grill for 15 to 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes, or until kernels are tender when pierced with a paring knife. If you like your corn simply steamed with just a little bit of smoke from the grill, go ahead and slather them with jalapeño butter and grated ricotta Salata. However, you can also pull back the husks at this point and return the corn to the grill for another 5 minutes for a little more char.


To check out all our past farmers’ market guests, click here.