Recipe: Strangely Spicy Corn Salsa

corn salsaOne night I had friends over for a few snacks and a lot of wine, and my girl Maddy brought me a jar of this adorable Corn Salsa from Shady Acres in upstate NY. (Nabbed from a specialty food store in New York run by my ex-boyfriend, but that’s another story…)

Given that I’m kind of a salsa queen, I was skeptical—it looked too watery and not tomato-y enough to truly be called a salsa. But it completely blew me away! It’s not a salsa in the chips-and-dip sense—more like a relish. So when I polished off the jar soon after, I decided to keep it and make my own based via the ingredients list on the back.

Anyone who knows me knows I’m not one for neat cooking or following recipes well—I eyeball, and rarely write things down. But this wasn’t hard to figure out—just chop, mix, add a dose of heat, and jar. Viola! Rough estimates FTW. This recipe makes one delightful jar’s worth to save for winter…or devour now. Whatever.

Pre-Prep Notes

You will taste the produce quality—so make it good. All mine was from the farmers market. If corn and tomatoes are out of season, canned sweet corn will work nicely, as will vine tomatoes (never, ever do beefsteak) or canned, unseasoned plum tomatoes. Also, on the peppers: As this sits, heat will increase due to the vinegar (and, you know, time) so I don’t recommend more than a tablespoon. Normally, I’m a jalapeño head but I was out so subbed 3 mini hot peppers from my houseplant instead. If you do go traditional, the bottom 1/3 of a small jalapeño will do. (No seeds!)


What You’ll Need

1 1/2 medium ears (or 2 small ears) fresh corn on the cob
10 cherry tomatoes
1 medium heirloom tomato
1/3 small white onion
1 small bunch cilantro
1 small glove garlic
1/2-1 tsp jalapeño or small hot pepper, per preferred tastes
Juice from 1/2 lemon
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Cumin and Paprika, to taste
1 spoonful sugar


How To Make It

Before starting, you’re going to need a clean, sanitized mason jar. Boil the jar (or jars, if you’re making multiple batches) and lid pieces for 10 mins—lift out with tongs an let dry and cool on paper towels until ready to use.

  1. Boil the corn until bright and golden, 3-4 mins. Don’t over-boil, or it’ll get soggy. When finished, remove and let oool for 10 mins, until core will be ok to handle
  2. While corn cool, finely chop all tomatoes into a mixing bowl. I cut mine VERY small—for example, each cherry into quarters, if not smaller—the same way you would for making pico de gallo.
  3. Finely chop onion, cilantro, garlic glove and hot pepper and add to bowl. Stir to mix.
  4. Cut corn off cob completely; break up pieces and add to mixing bowl. Combine thoroughly.
  5. Add white vinegar and lemon juice. Stir gently to combine.
  6. Add black pepper, salt, and 2-3 dashes of cumin and paprika. Stir all completely.
  7. Add sugar. Stir thoroughly until combined. Let mixture set for 5 mins, stir again, and let sit for 5 more.
  8. Add entire mixture to small non-stick or heat-resistant pot. Heat on low for up to 5 mins, or until aroma wafts and juice has bubbled and seemed to thicken.
  9. Pour gently into jar, wipe mouth thoroughly and seal.
    OPTIONAL: If planning to can, do canning seal boil: Drop jar into clean pot of boiling water for 5-10 mins, remove with tongs and let cool in room temperature.
  10. Makes 1 jar—double. triple, or quadruple accordingly
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