While tomatoes, summer squash and berries get lots of attention -- and rightfully so -- perhaps the most versatile of all summer produce is corn. Achieving peak sweetness in mid-summer, corn lends itself to a variety of cooking methods and can act as a delicious sidekick to seafood, fruits and other vegetables. Try these unique and delicious corn-focused recipes to see the results for yourself.
Grilled Corn, Crab and Blueberry Salad
Preparing corn on the grill adds a layer of smokiness that beautifully complements corn’s natural sweetness. With this bright and vibrant salad, we’re harnessing some of that smoke to bring balance to the combination of sweet blueberries and slightly briny crab. Freshly picked blueberries would also be a great touch, as the mild acidity of raw blueberries prevents the crab from getting lost in the dish. This salad would be a great starter or a killer accompaniment to a simple piece of grilled fish.
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Shaved Zucchini and Charred Corn Salad
For this crisp salad, the corn receives the cast iron skillet treatment. Raw corn kernels are cut off the cob, then caramelized in a very hot pan to bronze the exterior. Using a "y"-shaped or Swiss-style peeler will yield wide strips of zucchini that almost resemble pappardelle pasta. Be sure to take the extra step to toast the pecans, as the enhanced nuttiness adds richness without making the dish heavy. Also, use the best olive oil you can for this salad -- a nice fruity oil brings deceptively complex flavors and an extra layer of sophistication.
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Sweet Creamed Corn
While it's possible to make creamed corn with frozen kernels, you can't compare it to beautifully fresh sweet corn at the height of its season. Since corn and peppers have such a natural affinity for each other, in this recipe we’re adding a touch of jalapeño pepper to keep the dish grounded with savory flavor. Puree only half of the mixture in the blender; this way you'll have body and creaminess in the finished dish and you'll preserve the texture of the cooked fresh corn. This pairs perfectly with grilled meats, fish, shellfish, or poultry.
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