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 salsa
Slice kernels off a few cobs. In separate pots, blanch the kernels and some diced red pepper (boil in salted water for about 2 minutes, then plunge into an ice bath). Once they've cooled, combine, keeping a 3-to-1 corn-to-pepper ratio. Add oregano, parsley, and chives. Toss in chopped, toasted almonds. Chill. Add a vinaigrette. Serve with chips.
Credit: Photograph by Michael Pirrocco