Chef Jamie McFadden’s ode to Summer Sweet Corn

‘Tis the season for Ohio Sweet Corn! Whether grown in your backyard garden, or purchased at your favorite farmers market this seasonal “candy from the garden” is in season and delicious. Of course sweet corn is simply scrumptious eaten right off the cob, however the following recipes are tested crowd pleasers, and make for cool and easy summer appetizers or dinner entrees. Happy shucking!!

Grilled corn avocado toast

Makes 4 individual servings

For the Corn:
2 ears sweet corn
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
For the Toast
2 avocados
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 lime, sliced into wedges
4 slices artisan thick-sliced bread, toasted
1/3 cup crumbled queso fresco cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 radish thinly sliced
1 jalapeño thinly sliced
1/4 cup toasted and salted pumpkin seeds
8 each Mandarin orange segments
pinch of smoked paprika
To grill the corn, rub the ears with the olive oil. Place the ears on the grill and cook until the corn is golden or charred turning the ears as you go. Remove them from the grill and let cool slightly. Stir together the butter, paprika, salt and pepper, then butter the corn. Let it sit for a few more minutes before slicing the kernels from the cob into a bowl or plate. This helps keep the buttery flavor and seasonings with the corn.
In a bowl, mash the avocados with the salt, pepper and the juice from one lime wedge. Spread the mash evenly on the toast then top with 2 teaspoons of the corn, a few sprinkles of the queso fresco, 2 mandarin segments per piece of toast, 2 thin slices jalapeño, 2 slices of radish per toast, a sprinkling of cilantro and a tiny pinch of smoked paprika and pumpkin seeds. Serve immediately and enjoy.
Summer Orzo Salad
Serves 6-8


  • 1 package (16 ounces) orzo pasta
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh corn kernels, blanched
  • 24 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 medium cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup pistachios
  • Cook orzo according to package directions for al dente. Drain orzo, rinse with cold water and drain well. again. Transfer to a large bowl.
In a cast iron skillet heat 1/4 cup oil. Add corn and cook until crisp-tender, 3-4 minutes. Next stir in onion, cook 3 more minutes. Pour mixture into orzo. Next add in cucumbers, tomatoes, feta, mint and capers.
  • In a separate small bowl, whisk oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper until blended. Pour over orzo mixture; toss to coat. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
Just before serving, stir in pistachios.
Editors note:
Chef Jamie is the Chef and Proprietor of Sandy Ridge Vineyards & Mercantile in Norwalk, Ohio and the Founder of Cuisiniers Catered Cuisine & Events in Winter Park, Florida.