If you go
Boulder Farmers Market
13th Street and Canyon Boulevard
8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 17
4-8 p.m. Wednesdays through Oct. 3
Lafayette Farmers Market
400 E. Simpson St., Lafayette
4-8 p.m. Thursdays through Sept. 27
Longmont Farmers Market:
Boulder County Fairgrounds
8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 17
Union Station Farmers Market:
Denver's Union Station plaza
9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 20
In season now: One of the most colorful weeks of the season brings a kaleidoscope of colors to booths. Find bright peak-season sweet corn varieties including peaches and cream, tomatoes of every color, sweet Palisade peaches, plums, beans, eggplant, summer squash, carrots, beautiful beets, onions and greens for cooking or eating raw in salads. Local flowers are a riot of hues, from gladioli to sunflowers. To round out the basket, tuck in some honey, bread, local ranch-raised meats, cheeses and mushrooms.
Lots of this, please: Be sure to pick up some colorful, tender sweet corn — a Colorado specialty, thanks to our cool nights and long hot and dry days, it's a true taste of summer.
The farmer says: "We have really sunny, hot days and cool nights here," says Mike Munson, of Munson Farms at 75th and Valmont. "The combination of hot and cool builds a concentration of sugars that is particularly great-tasting, especially when you can harvest it the same day."
The Munson family has been growing heirloom varieties of corn for decades on their farm in Boulder.
What makes Colorado sweet corn so special? "The range of temperatures makes the corn so tender and so sweet," Munson says.
How to prepare: Sweet corn is one of the most versatile ingredients. Lightly grill shucked ears simply with some butter, salt and pepper. Add chili peppers and cilantro for a special twist. The freshest corn (Munson Farm picks corn the morning of market) can be sliced right off the ear and added raw to salads and side dishes. Very softly sauteed corn kernels over low heat, with some butter and herbs, can be placed next to your most prized pieces of protein as a simple, seasonal side dish. Plan to dedicate an area of your freezer for summer corn: A sweet corn pudding in the fall, long after the heat of summer has passed, is a special treat.
How to store: The goal is to keep corn from drying out. Refrigerate unshucked ears in a bag for up to three days. If you want to stock up for later, shuck the corn and store full ears in the freezer in a sealed plastic bag.
Goes with: Almost everything. Sweet corn is the little black dress of summer eating. Grill up corn ears to go with any protein from lobster to tempeh, or slice raw kernels off the ears to toss with fresh salads containing fresh peaches, thin-sliced red onions, summer squash, tomatoes, basil or cucumbers.
Good to know: The in-season list represents a general overview of the week's harvest, not every item that is being produced locally. Not all farms grow or have ready items on the list.
Grilled Corn with Dehydrated Black Salsa
6 ears of corn, shucked
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon chipotle powder (or pureed canned chipotles in adobo)
1/4 cup lime juice
2 cups oil
1 cup cotija cheese, finely grated
2 teaspoon lime zest
1 teaspoon dried chipotle powder
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Dehydrated Black Salsa
4 tomatoes, sliced thick
4 garlic cloves
1/2 yellow onion, sliced thick
1/2 cilantro bunch
1 tablespoon agave
1 tablespoon sherry vin
Directions: Place all aioli ingredients except oil in food processor and with the motor running slowly drizzle in the oil until it is emulsified. Check for seasoning.
Mix together cheese, zest, chipotle powder, and cilantro.
Roast all salsa ingredients except agave and vinegar, until everything is completely blackened, with only a little of color still showing from each ingredient. Place all ingredients in a blender including vinegar and agave. Blend until completely smooth. Spread thinly on a Silpat or parchment paper lined cookie sheet and dry in a warm oven over night — preferably with just a pilot light.
To complete, grill corn until charred and cooked through. Drizzle with aioli and coat with cheese mixture. Finish with broken pieces of the black salsa.
—Executive chef Mataya Urban of Leña