Spring has barely sprung, and I am already dreaming of summer produce. The thing is, spring is like the hors d’oeuvre to seasonal harvest, just a teaser that prepares you for what follows. Fresh, crisps, sweet greens can only anticipate more complex flavors, right?
I had a version of this dish several months ago, while still in Miami, at Michelle Bernstein’s Sra. Martinez. I can only respect restaurants that treat vegetarians with love and care (hear that David Chang!). Michelle has more than a handful of beautiful vegetables dishes that are decadent and delicious (shaved kale salad, crispy eggplant, cauliflower steak, etc). These don’t drown the vegetable in creamy heavy sauces, or bury them in pasta. Sra. MArtinez’s vegetable dishes are about the vegetable, and how to enhance their texture and taste with simple ingredients. Now that’s what I call good cooking!
Most of the food that comes out of her kitchen is delicious, but I was especially drawn to what appeared to be a simple corn dish. Surprisingly, the combination of lime, chile, and corn was everything but simple. Each bite takes you through an incredible journey though smoky aromatics, sweet juicy corn, and a mild spicy heat, sprinkled with an occasional tang from lime juice. Sublime!
You can make this recipe in minutes. It is perfect for outings, picnics, or BBQs. But to be honest I like it smack in the middle of the week, as a light dinner accompanied with lightly dressed greens.
Just this time I am going to allow myself to make an exception and use the frozen kind, but I will be ready to use fresh as soon as it arrives at the Green Market.
Cook time: 7 minutes (max)
- 2 cups fresh (or froxen) corn kernels
- 2 tbsp. good olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ tsp. chile powder
- ½ tsp. smoked paprika
- pinch of salt
- dash fresh ground pepper
- juice of 1/4 of a lime
- good Parmegiano Reggiano shaved
- handful cilantro
In a saucepan over medium heat 1 tbsp. olive oil. Add garlic to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes. Add corn, spices, salt and pepper. Cook for 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat. Add remaining olive oil, lime juice, cilantro and shaven Parmegiano. Serve hot. And like Ina Garten would say: How simple was that?!
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