Saturday morning, I got up early (for me!) and biked over to the Farmer’s Market. I knew I wanted to make something using ingredients from the market, but for the first time, I went in blindly. Generally I have some kind of idea of what I want to make, but this morning I had absolutely no clue. I wandered around the market for a little, tasting samples and waiting to be inspired. Finally, I ran across a stand with a ton of corn, and knew exactly what I wanted to do.
I recently went to one of my favorite restaurants, called Lucca, and had an absolutely delicious bruschetta with charred corn, red pepper flakes, and burratta. It was incredible, and as soon as I saw the corn at the market I knew I wanted to do something similar (but not close to identical). Armed with my corn, I retraced my steps, stopping at an amazing stand selling all kinds of gouda. I picked up the mild gouda, and stopped off at Village Bakery’s stand to get a loaf of ciabatta, and the stand next door to get some beautiful onions with the stems attached (aka green onions). I was SO inspired, I couldn’t wait to get home and get to work in the kitchen.
I chose to make a sort of green onion pesto for the sandwich with the green part of the onion I picked up, and it turned out very good, if a little strong. I added some arugula to balance out the oniony taste, and it was a good choice. The gouda was SO good and I am eager to try the other flavors that were available at the stand – garlic, smoked, and mustard, among others. The star of this dish however was the corn. So simply delicious and fresh, the flavor was only enhanced by a quick broil in the oven. I will probably never buy frozen corn again.
Everything is very subjective in this recipe, depending on how much of each ingredient you like (more cheese, more corn, more pesto, whatever), so this recipe is really only guideline! Dare I say it I might have used slightly too much cheese, so be judicious with the gouda – you don’t want it to compete with the flavor of the corn.
Charred Corn and Gouda Grilled Cheese
Makes 4 little sandwiches (warning: these suckers are filling!)
- two ears of corn, husked
- 1 loaf good ciabatta bread (if you are in the Davis area, I cannot recommend Village Bakery enough)
- 1 bunch green onions
- handful arugula
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more to coat the corn
- 1 wedge gouda cheese of your choice
- 1 pat of butter for each slice of bread you are using, plus about 2 tablespoons for grilling the sandwiches
Next, slice your bread into nice, thick slices – 8 of them.
Time to make your green onion spread! Throw your green onions in a food processor with some garlic, the arugula, the red pepper flakes, and about 1/2 cup shredded gouda. Pulse it for awhile until blended, then slowly stream in the olive oil while the food processor is running. Blend until combined.
Put a VERY TINY pat of butter on each slice of bread (you won’t need much at all, and this step is really probably optional), then cover each slice with some of the green onion spread. Add some cheese to each piece of bread.
Your corn should be cool by now, so cut the kernels off the cob, then put the kernels on four of the bread slices.
Assemble your sandwiches by placing a kernel-less slice of bread on top of a slice that has corn on it. Get a pan nice and hot, melt a little butter into the pan, and place your sandwiches in the pan. Grill the bread in the pan until the cheese in nice and melty and the bread is toasty, flipping half way through.
Cut the sandwiches into halves, and dig in!