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Corn & Scallion Fritters

Summer is corn season. We eat corn almost daily, usually just boiling it for 3 minutes, scraping it off the cob and savoring it plain, sprinkled with sea salt. But there are times I’ll hunger for corn soup or chowder, and times when a corn fritter beckons. Today was one of those days.

Almost anything is delicious in a fritter: boiled or raw vegetables; cooked grains; bits of savory meat; cheese and herbs… all benefit from a quick jump in a hot skillet with olive oil. But corn fritters are somehow even more addictive, perhaps because of corn’s natural juiciness and sweetness. Serve these fritters as a side to meat or fish, or with a lovely green salad as a starter. If you happen to be entertaining, they make perfect finger food as long as you make them no more than silver dollar-size.

Serves 2 as an appetizer

For the fritters:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves (optional)
  • 1 ear fresh corn, kernels scraped
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts, very thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

To serve:

  • 2 packed cups baby greens, washed and dried
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • juice of 1/4 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Place the egg in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in the flour, beating vigorously with a whisk until the mixture is perfectly smooth. Add the salt, pepper, cayenne, and thyme, and whisk again. Add the scraped corn kernels and scallions, and stir with a rubber spatula to incorporate. Set aside for no more than 10 minutes (if the batter rests too long, the corn may exude moisture and result in watery fritters).

To cook: Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over a medium-high flame for 2 minutes, or until quite hot but not smoking. Brush with half of the olive oil. Spoon in the batter, making 6 equal-sized fritters, spacing the fritters about 2 inches apart. Cook for 3 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom. Brush the tops with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and flip. Cook until the second side is also golden brown, about 2 minutes more. Remove to a plate.

To serve: While the fritters are cooking, toss the greens with the salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the lemon juice and then the olive oil. Toss to combine. Adjust the seasoning if needed. Pile onto 2 plates. Top with the fritters and serve at once, before the fritters cool down and the greens wilt.

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