Roasted Silver Queen Corn, Zucchini, and Goat Cheese Summer Quiche is easy to prepare, and fabulous for weekend brunch. It also makes a great portable lunch for the work week!
Sweet Corn, Sweet Summer
Last weekend we bought a lot of corn at our Farmer’s Market, and I brought it home, eager to pull back the bright green sheaves. I just love corn on the cob.
Every time I shuck corn I think of my great grandmother. Her sitting across from me, a black handled paring knife in one hand, two five gallon buckets at her feet. Sandals gripping her swollen-in-the-summer-feet. A black and white polka dotted dress, a once-was-white apron.
A pile of corn beside me as tall as I was. To our right, the curled black handle of the hand pump at the well my grandmother hated, because that’s where she had to draw water for the family as a child for washing, bathing, and summer heat hydrating.
I would shuck the corn, stripping the sticky silks, and dropping it in one bucket. She’d grab from that bucket, and slip that knife like quicksilver through the milky rows. The kernels would drop into one of the buckets in tight clusters, or single golden dewdrops.
Occasionally, a silk worm, grown fat and happy on field corn, would show itself and I would squirm. She would simply laugh, pierce it with that black handled knife, and toss it over her shoulder.
We would shuck, and silk, and slice our way through that big golden pile in our chairs on red Carolina clay soil.
Later we’d slide those kernels into gallon size bags for freezing, or for canning, or maybe just for giving away. Because maybe cousin Sadie has pearl beans and will give us some pearl beans in exchange for some of this pretty ripe corn we have to share.
And that night we’d have creamed corn with biscuits and fresh bright tomatoes, sprinkled with salt,and dappled with pepper, that we’d also picked that morning. Salt cured country ham, and maybe, if I was lucky and asked nicely, fried okra.
This to me is what corn tastes like. An afternoon with my great grandmother in the high hot heat of a North Carolina summer. It tastes like red clay and rusty well water, like biscuits and fried and gone.
Corn tastes like summer and butter and biscuits and gone.
Why Silver Queen Corn?
You might be wondering why, or perhaps even WHAT, silver queen corn is. Silver Queen corn is an older corn variety, popularly grown in the Maryland area. Recently most growers have replaced it with more modern varieties, created for stability and longevity, and without such romantic names.
Want some M86 on your plate? Want to gnaw on a cob of M86? Ugh. It makes it sound like a flu virus.
Kim Farmer, in an article for City Paper entitled The Cult of Silver Queen Corn, says:
Offering a slower sugar-to-starch conversion, the newer varietals, if kept cool in the husk, can retain their sugar up to four weeks post-picking depending on the type. The conversion process for Silver Queen ears begins as soon as they are plucked from the stalk. To rightly experience Silver Queen, you must eat it on the day it was picked.
Of course, it’s not always possible to eat the corn straight from the fields, but I feel this is true of so many good summer eats. A tomato plucked ripe and ready and fresh from the vine tastes like sweet summer sunshine when you eat it right there amidst the rows, juicy and dripping.
But it also tastes good when you take it in the kitchen, serve it on a crusty fresh bread or hot biscuit, generously slathered with mayonnaise, sprinkled with salt, and topped with a fried egg.
So I don’t worry too much about the ephemeral quality here. I made this quiche with the corn the next day and it was still so, so good.
But I chose Silver Queen not just for the poetry of its name.
I found Silver Queen at my local farmer’s market, and was super excited to see it. I bought a bunch of ears and took them home to grill, slather with butter, and nibble with wanton abandon.
Silver Queen corn has sweet white neat kernels that, to me, still taste of CORN. I don’t want to get into a discussion of GMOs here today, though I may tackle that subject soon. There are a lot of misconceptions about GMOs and many of our heirloom varieties were themselves GMOs of their generation.
But for now, let’s just say, to me, Silver Queen corn tastes like the corn I ate as a kid.
And I. Love. Summer Corn.
Grill it, boil it, roast it doesn’t matter. I’m yours.
I love to nibble on sweet butter dripping ears. I love to make summer chowder from the corn cobs (recipe coming soon!). Truly, I don’t even mind shucking corn. There’s something sort of soothing and magical about peeling away those layers and stripping the silks to reveal those perfect rows of kernels.
Unless you find worms. And I’m a girly girl still, so ew.
Quantity and Quality
I wanted to use a fair amount of corn in this summer quiche, and let me say, I am so glad I did. The sweet, slightly caramelized corn was still crunchy and made a perfect pair with the hint of tart creaminess of the goat cheese. The zucchini was also super fresh, so it balanced out the corn by adding a bit of earthiness.
While I used Silver Queen, you can use any corn really. And I chose to roast it, but you could grill or even boil it. It’s really up to you. One of the things I love best about quiche is how versatile it is!
A Note On Crust
I used my Easy Flaky Butter Pie Crust, but you really can use any crust, even a store bought one. Though seriously – if you haven’t made your own crust for quiche before, I urge you to try it. It doesn’t take long, and is a soothing Sunday endeavor in my opinion. Plus, oh that richness!
That substantive something (it’s butter, really, it’s butter) is just lacking in the store bought ready made crusts. But the filling is so good for this quiche maybe you won’t notice!
This summer quiche recipe is part of my ongoing A Quiche for Ever Season series. Check out my Spring Quiche here!
Satisfying Summer Quiche
This Silver Queen Corn, Zucchini, and Goat Cheese Summer Quiche is so satisfying. It has a sweet crunchiness from the corn that pairs nicely with the rich, creamy egg custard. The zucchini balances all this out nicely with some earthy depth.
It’s delicious for breakfast, brunch, or lunch, especially if paired with a salad. If you make it, I hope you enjoy it!
And let me know in the comments – do you have a favorite variety of corn? A special summer-produce-inspired memory?
Silver Queen Corn, Zucchini, and Goat Cheese Summer Quiche
- 1 Pie Crust I use my Easy Flaky Buttery Pie Crust
- 2 Ears Roasted Corn, or about 1 cup frozen This recipe uses Silver Queen, though any corn can reasonably substituted.
- 1 Small Zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream, Half and Half, or Milk
- 1/4 Cup Crumbled Goat Cheese Optional. May use more or less depending on desired taste
- 6 Large Eggs
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Fresh Black Pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Shuck whole ears of corn and wrap in tin foil with a small pat of butter.
- Place wrapped corn on a roasting pan and place in oven for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes remove from oven and set aside to allow to cool.
- Turn oven heating down to 375 degrees.
- Slice zucchini very thinly using a paring knife or mandolin.
- In a medium bowl, whisk six eggs.
- Add the salt and pepper, cream, and goat cheese. Whisk to combine.
- Once the corn has cooled, remove from tin foil and slice from the cob. You should have 1/2 cup to 1 cup kernels.
- Add corn kernels to egg mixture and stir to incorporate.
- Pour egg mixture into the prepared pie crust.
- Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes, then carefully remove from oven.
- Arrange zucchini slices in circles on the top, or scatter them as you desire. Sprinkle with additional fresh ground black pepper if desired.
- Place quiche back in oven for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the center is set.