Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Marini Farm is Crazy For Corn

New England harvested corn is “one of the best aspects of summer”, as posted on Facebook by an excited customer. Corn is not only an iconic Southern food; it’s All-American. A great deal of our country’s industry surrounds the vegetable, and its byproducts can be found in millions of products lining grocery store shelves. When Marini Farm thinks of corn, they imagine the buttery juices dribbling down your wrists, the old-fashioned miniature plastic corn forks jauntily stabbed into the ends of the cob, and bacon fat melting in the cast-iron skillet, ready to receive freshly cut, milky kernels for creamed corn. 

The Corn Harvest is in full swing! Each day overflowing bushels of corn come from the crops to our farm stand and are ready for your grills and dinner tables. Luckily, the recent heat wave that had been baking the region didn’t pop our corn, so the harvest is thriving and ready-to-pick.  Marini Farm grows over 10 tons of corn each year, and with Mario Marini’s 50 years of experience in the field, the farm can confidently bring you some of the best and sweetest corn the North Shore has to offer. The farm wants the recognition of having the best eating quality corn around.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture report, the nation’s farmers will harvest a record 14.4 billion bushels of corn this year from 96 million acres.

The farm stand offers 10 varieties of corn from over 200 acres of land that is picked fresh seven days a week. The newest variety “Allure” is currently being picked and is getting great customer reviews for its sweetness and juicy tenderness with crisp kernels popping off the cobs. By planting 20 of our 200 acres under plastic, we are able to expedite the growth and begin the harvest season earlier, while the remaining acres keep our farm piled high with fresh corn throughout the summer. Any day old corn from the stand is sold to the wholesale market so that our stand may start fresh each day. Marini does not grow genetically modified organism (GMO) corn and is always focused on healthy harvesting options.

Over the years varieties have gotten sweeter and the farm is always adding varieties looking for corn with the best eating quality possible. They are also happy to announce that the corn table has been moved to under a tent, which really gives you more space to see all the produce and explore everything the farm stand has to offer this summer, including:

• Corn
• Hot House tomatoes
• Pickling cucumbers
• Summer squash
• Beets
• Kale
• Swiss chard
• Spinach
• Beans
• Peas
• Lettuce
• Strawberries
• Zucchini

A question was posted on Facebook to obtain feedback from customers on their reaction to the new location for the corn bin and 36 responses were posted that were in favor of the new location. As one customer commented, “It is much easier to shuck now and I don't feel like I'm in the way, especially with my kids helping.” Many also commented on how it eases up the rest of the stand so people see what else is there. The first corn Facebook posts of the season received 9,188 views and many customers stated they were excited to “fire up the grill.”

Be sure to try out some of our favorite corn recipes which follow below. 


Loaded Corn Chowder  

3 chicken breasts baked and cut into pieces 
8 ears of corn cooked and shaved off the cob
2 cups of cubed red bliss potatoes
10 cups of water
3 pouches of Herb Ox chicken bouillon
3 tablespoons of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (dry)
1 cup of celery, chopped
1 leek sliced
1 onion chopped
1 bunch of green onions sliced
6 pieces of cooked bacon chopped
1/4 cup of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh parsley
1 cup of heavy cream 


      1. Sauté chopped vegetables in olive oil

      2. Add water, chicken, potatoes, corn, bacon and seasonings

      3. Simmer for 30 minutes on low

      4. Add heavy cream and stir lightly

      5. Before serving top off with more bacon pieces 

Summer CSA Salad with Red Wine Tomato Vinaigrette:

For the dressing:
  • 1 vine-ripened tomato, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of prepared mustard
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
For the salad:
  • 1 small head of lettuce, torn and washed
  • 4 cups of green beans, trimmed
  • Kernels from 1 ear of corn (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

     1. First, make the dressing. Puree tomato in a food processor until liquefied.

     2. Add remaining dressing ingredients and blend again until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.

     3. Next, quickly blanch the green beans. Bring a pot of water to a boil and prepare an ice bath – a large bowl with ice cubes and cold water. Add green beans to boiling water and simmer for 2-3 minutes, until bright green. Drain and immediately plunge green beans into ice bath.

     4. Let sit for several minutes before draining the cold water and removing the ice cubes.

     5. Finally, layer the salad ingredients in a serving dish or individual bowls. Serve with dressing and enjoy! 

Grilled Corn and Quinoa Salad
  • 5 ears of corn, husks on but silks removed
  • 4 green onions, roots and tops trimmed
  • 2 cups of quinoa, well rinsed
  • 3 1/4 cups water
  • Salt
  • 4 plum tomatoes, cored, seeded, and diced
  • 1 cup lightly packed of cilantro leaves and tender stems, chopped
  • Juice of 3 limes (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Black pepper

     1. Soak the corn: Place the corn in a large stockpot, or another container large enough to hold all the ears, and fill it with water. If you do not have a sufficiently large container, use your kitchen sink. Allow the corn to soak for 20 minutes. Remove from the water, shake, and tightly squeeze the husks against the kernels of corn to get rid of any excess water.

     2. Grill the corn: Heat your grill to high (550° F) and close the lid. Wait at least 15 minutes before lowering the heat to medium-high (450° F) and continuing. Place the corn on the grill rack, close the lid, and grill for 5 minutes. Turn the corn over and grill for another 5 minutes with the lid closed. Remove from the grill and let rest for 5 more minutes.

     3. Pull back the husks and char the corn: Take the grilled ears of corn and pull back the husks, exposing the kernels. Do not remove the husks. If possible, tie the husks back.

     4. Increase the grill temperature to high (550° F). Place a sheet of aluminum foil on one side of the hot grill. Place the pulled-back husks over the foil, allowing the exposed kernels to sit on the grill grates. (This is done so the husks don’t burn before the corn can char.) Close the grill lid and allow the kernels to char for about 5 minutes per side, or until they become dark and golden brown on all sides. At this point, add the green onions to the grill and char on all sides, about 8 minutes total. Remove the corn and green onions from the grill and set aside.

     5. Prepare the quinoa: Put the quinoa, water, and 1 teaspoon of salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, and lower to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes. Uncover and check if the quinoa is ready by tilting the pan to the side to make sure all the water has been absorbed. If not, continue cooking for a few minutes more. Transfer the cooked quinoa to a large bowl and allow to cool at room temperature.

     6. Toss and dress the salad and serve: Cut the corn kernels off the cobs, slice the grilled green onions, and add both to the quinoa. Toss in the tomatoes and cilantro and mix well. Drizzle the lime juice and olive oil over the salad and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss well before serving.

Or, for the kids, try some fresh, sweet corn muffins. Whole kernels cut fresh from the cob add an unexpected texture and freshness to these moist muffins. They're wonderful served warm with butter. 

Real Corn Muffins


  • 6 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of fresh corn kernels (two ears)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of cornmeal
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten


     1. Heat the oven to 375° F. Place paper liners in a 12-cup muffin pan.

     2. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a medium skillet. Add the corn and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and cook over medium-high heat until barely tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Then spread the corn onto a plate to cool slightly.

     3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

     4. Add the buttermilk, egg, and remaining oil to the dry ingredients and stir until blended. Then stir in the corn mixture.

     5. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake the muffins for about 16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature. 
Makes 1 dozen.

Let us in on your favorite corn recipes. We are going to start a board on Pinterest for summer produce recipes. Enjoy the summer barbeque season and don't forget to include Marini corn on your menu! Marini's priority is to keep their customers shucking and seriously crazy for corn all summer long.