Corn and Parmesan gratin recipe.

My wardrobe is built on a foundation of staples: chinos, black trousers, twinsets, linen shirts. My cooking tends to be the same way. I tend to return to certain recipes over and over, depending on the season.

In summer, we can’t get enough corn, zucchini and tomatoes, often in combination. We buy corn in season almost every weekend at the market. But it’s rare that we just eat it on the cob, all saltybutteryslurpycrunchy (delicious as that is). Mostly, we cook with it off the cob: sauté corn in butter with a generous pinch of pimenton, or toss it with pasta. This is one of our standards.

west chop corn, or corn gratin

3 cups fresh corn cut off the cob
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. dried thyme, or a nice pinch of fresh
pinch of pimenton or cayenne
salt + pepper
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. fresh or dried breadcrumbs
3 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together corn, cream, thyme, pimenton and salt and pepper. Pour into a shallow baking dish. Mix together breadcrumbs and Parmesan; sprinkle over corn mixture. Bake for about 30 minutes until topping is browned.

Note: Recipe adapted from The Summer Book by Susan Branch. I love this cookbook; my copy is dog-eared and spotted. Branch lives on Martha’s Vineyard, and I got the book well before we started spending time there. Now that I know the island, the book’s references to Vineyard locations like West Chop (of this recipe’s name) are even sweeter.