Sweet Corn Pizza Two Ways

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Every year we make a few adjustments to our CSA plan to try and align it more and more with what we think the best mix of produce is for our CSA members. This year we decided that meant way more sweet corn than in years past. We planted two massive plantings (of 11 beds each!) and budgeted to buy in organic sweet corn an additional two times from great growers in our community.

The sweet corn we grew turned out absolutely spectacular. We got the fields in the earliest we ever had and both plantings turned out just perfectly– tender, sweet, full ears with beautiful white and yellow kernels. And for once, there has been so much sweet corn bounty to share with our team and bring into our kitchen.

Sweet corn generally only grows one ear per stalk that is good enough to harvest. Occasionally, there is a second ear on the plant, but it usually remains under ripe and/or fills out a little funny. This year, we got second ears on most stalks and though imperfect and not nearly good enough quality for CSA members (they required a lot of trimming), they were filled out enough for us to use!

This was super fun because we were able to have more access to sweet corn than in years past. Whenever we had a sweet corn craving we could head to the field and harvest some second ears to bring home and play with. We’ve never had so much of our sweet corn available and it’s been super fun to get a lot more creative.

I feel like my sweet corn rhythm is generally always the same. I eat boiled or grilled ears of corn slathered in butter, salt and pepper non-stop as soon as sweet corn comes into season. Once I’ve done that for two weeks I evolve to fresh corn salads- yummy side dishes packed full of sweet corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers and whatever else I have on hand. And then, the season is usually over. I run out of corn before I really get to experiment. But this year, with four straight weeks of sweet corn for our members and an abundance of seconds, I can start to get wild– like putting it onto pizzas.

These beautiful golden pizzas are definitely my current favorite way to eat sweet corn. I really wanted to try two different versions: one that paired sweet corn with the summer zucchini abundance we’re still experiencing at our farm, and one that kept things super simple and fresh with just sweet corn, some alliums and a simple pesto sauce to celebrate the great basil crop we’ve got this year. I figured one would be a hit and one would be just okay and I’d share the better of the two recipes with you.

Well, they both turned out perfectly! And just different enough that I couldn’t resist sharing both recipes.

The Pesto, Sweet Corn & Scallion Pizza is super quick and simple– especially with the addition of a store-bought dough and pesto. It’s literally just boiled corn tossed in a bowl with some scallions and garlic before being thrown onto a pizza crust. Could not be easier!

This time of year, we seem to always have pesto in the fridge so I used that for the sauce, but if that isn’t your situation, by all means use store-bought pesto! The sweet corn, scallions and red pepper flakes are such powerful flavors that a lackluster pesto from the store won’t harm things a bit. If you don’t have pesto on hand and don’t want to a run to the store, a quick white sauce would also be spectacular.

The second pizza takes a touch more work (and time) but is still fairly simple. It requires you to shred zucchini, leave it to drain for 30 minutes and then squeeze it dry (much like you would have to do to make fritters, bread, or a zucchini crust). I don’t love all that prep work but the combination of dried shredded zucchini with mozzarella cheese as essentially the sauce and topping for the pizza is just transformational. It elevates the boring zucchini in your fridge suddenly finding itself in the back of your fridge) into something so freaking decadent.

I cannot take responsibility for this technique. It comes from Food52 and their vault of Genius recipes. We love making this pizza once we get bored of zucchini made most other ways. Adding the sweet corn just sends it over the top.

I hope you enjoy playing with both of these pizza recipes and you’re enjoying the delicious August season of local food just as much as we are. Happy summer loving!
-Leek

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PESTO, SWEET CORN & SCALLION PIZZA

Makes 1 pizza
Serves 3-4
Takes 45 minutes

3 ears sweet corn
3-4 garlic cloves (or scapes), minced
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 batch favorite pizza dough (or 1 store-bought pizza crusts)
1/2 cup prepared pesto
1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  2. While you wait for the oven to preheat, bring a large kettle of water to a boil. Once boiling, cook corn for 3 minutes.* Rinse under cold water.
  3. Use a knife to remove kernels from ears. Place in a medium bowl along with garlic and scallions.
  4. When oven is pre-heated, roll out crust and bake for 10 minutes.
  5. Spread pesto on pre-baked crust. Top with sweet corn mixture and shredded cheese. Finish with red pepper flakes. Bake for 10-15 minutes longer until crust and cheese are golden brown.
  6. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

*If making both pizzas, boil all five ears of corn at once to save yourself some time.

SHREDDED ZUCCHINI & SWEET CORN PIZZA

Makes 1 pizza
Serves 3-4
Takes 1 hour

2 pounds zucchini, shredded (about 5 cups)
1-1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
2 ears sweet corn
1/2 batch favorite pizza dough (or 1 store-bought pizza crusts)

  1. Toss shredded zucchini and salt together in a large bowl. Once zucchini is well mixed with salt, dump into a colander. Place the colander over the bowl and allow to drain for 30 minutes.
  2. After zucchini has been sitting for 20 minutes, preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  3. While you wait for the oven to preheat and the zucchini to drain, bring a large kettle of water to a boil. Once boiling, cook corn for 3 minutes.* Rinse under cold water.
  4. Remove the kernels from the ears of corn and set to the side.
  5. Once the zucchini has soaked for 30 minutes, transfer the colander to the sink and press with your hands to remove excess liquid. You likely won’t get it all. You want the shredded zucchini to be fairly dry so if yours still seems wet, place it in a thin towel or cheesecloth and continue squeezing until very little liquid comes out.
  6. Dump any liquid that accumulated in the bowl as well and dry it with a towel. Return the zucchini to the bowl and add the cheese. Toss to combine, using you fingers to break up any clumps. Place mixture on your prepared pizza crust. Top with corn.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes until golden brown.
  8. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.

    *If making both pizzas, boil all five ears of corn at once to save yourself some time.

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