Steamed sweet corn, a pat of melted butter, a pinch of salt. Few foods fit summertime as perfectly. But don't limit yourself to boiling and buttering. Sweet corn, in peak season from now until late September, has a sugar-and-cream crunch that can be showcased in a variety of dishes. "It's one of those rare vegetables that lends itself to so many preparations," says Shaun Hergatt, executive chef of New York City's Juni, where the menu emphasizes seasonal, vegetable-centric dishes. "Yet people rarely take advantage of the way its texture and taste can elevate so many different meals." Here are seven dishes to help you do just that.
Cold corn and squash ratatouille
Add corn kernels, some diced onion, and chopped green and yellow squash to a hot pan with some salt, pepper, and a bit of sugar. (You won't need oil, as enough water will seep out of the moisture-rich veggies.) Cook until everything softens, then add tomato sauce (use canned, crushed tomatoes or make your own by cooking fresh ones down with garlic and oil) and some chopped chives. Chill and, before serving, drizzle with white balsamic vinegar and a splash of olive oil. Serve with crusty bread.
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