Smoky Summer Salsa
30 minutes; Makes enough for a big bag of chips
Fight fire with fire. In honor of this smoky summer, we invite you to embody the spirit of the many-faced fire gods by becoming a fellow heatseeker. Let’s show fire what we’re made of.
1 ear sweet corn, shucked
2 bell peppers, seeded and diced
X hot peppers*, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp paprika (smoked, if you have it)
1 medium-large tomato, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 tsp maple syrup (optional)
1/4 lime (optional)
3 scallions, sliced into thin rings
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
* Quantity and variety of your choice, depending on your affinity to heat. For a cozy blanket sort of heat, go with a deseeded hot wax pepper. Alternatively, for a chug-some-goat’s-milk-and-jump-in-the-river sort of heat, go with a cayenne or two, seeds and all. Pick your poison…
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Cut the kernels off the cob. A sharp knife, good grip, and rimmed plate or shallow bowl are key. Start by cutting off bottom of the cob so that you have a sturdy surface on which to rest the cob upright. Now, carefully cut down the cob at the base of the kernels. Rotate and repeat.
In a cast-iron skillet or roasting pan, mix the corn kernels, sweet peppers, hot peppers, half the garlic, and paprika. Add a dash of salt and a healthy drizzle of olive oil; mix it up, and stick ‘em the oven. Set a timer for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the tomatoes, onions, and remaining garlic in a blender and blend until you find your preferred level of smooth.
When the timer goes off, combine the oven mix with the tomato base. Add the maple syrup and salt and pepper to taste. Give the salsa a stir and finish with a drizzle of good olive oil, lime, and the scallions.