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.
Soak cobs, husks on, in a big bowl of heavily salted water for 20 minutes. Place cobs on a hot grill – charcoal is best, but gas will do – and cook on all sides until charred. Peel off the husks and serve with a few coarsely ground peppercorns, some chopped jalapeños, and a lot of shaved Parmesan cheese. "Presoaking the cobs in the salted water is key here," says Hergatt. "It creates a steaming effect, which lends a smokiness to the corn."
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