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Capture the sweetness of summer corn with these 3 recipes

Photo Credit: Lauren Booker

Fresh Shaved Zucchini and Toasted Corn Salad


Capture the sweetness of summer corn with these 3 recipes

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.
Get the recipe here

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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Author image

Chef Jeffrey Gardner is a native of Natchez, Miss., and a graduate of Millsaps College and Johnson & Wales University. He lives in Atlanta and has served as sous chef for popular restaurants South City Kitchen Midtown and Alma Cocina. In 2013 he became executive chef for East Cobb restaurant Common Quarter and was named one of ten “Next Generation of Chefs to Watch” by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. He has appeared on TV shows including Food Network’s Chopped and Cooking Channel’s How to Live to 100, and also filmed a series of healthy cooking videos with retired pro wrestler and fitness guru Diamond Dallas Page. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling the world with his wife Wendy, watching game shows and “spending all his money on Bruce Springsteen concerts.”