I wasn’t sure exactly what to cook when friends came over for dinner the other night, but I knew it would involve corn from the farmers’ market, tucked in soft, pale husks, piled on the kitchen counter.
As our dogs zoomed around, I turned a ball of dough into parathas stuffed with greens and mashed potatoes and drizzled with ghee, to have with yogurt and pickles. And I mixed a big bowl of corn and snap pea kosambari to go with it.
Kosambari is one of my go-to nonleafy salads, with a simple but substantial dressing of fried sesame seeds and chiles mixed with lemon juice and grated coconut. It’s absolutely delicious on raw grated carrots; corn and snap peas; tomato and cucumber; or squash and soft herbs.
If you’re making a summery kosambari with corn, you can cut the kernels straight off the cob, leaving them raw so they’re sweet, crunchy and juicy. Here’s a great tip from Melissa Clark for getting the job done without sending half the kernels flying: Lay the cob flat on the cutting board, then slice straight down, turn and repeat. The more small turns you make, the more of the cob you’ll cover and the less precious corn you’ll waste.
Use that technique to prep Melissa’s creamy corn pasta, which builds most of the sweet creaminess in the dish with a purée of blanched corn (though there’s still a little dairy!). If you want to skip dairy completely, take a look at this simple corn soup from David Tanis — the dish has a luxuriously creamy quality, but it’s vegan, with sweetness and body from puréed corn, onion and garlic.
If you’re into grilled corn and the way its flavor expands when it’s speckled with char, try Sue Li’s grilled corn and avocado salad with feta dressing or J. Kenji López-Alt’s new recipe for guacamole with grilled corn and cotija.
And though you can cook it out of season with frozen corn, don’t miss the chance to make Hetty McKinnon’s corn and celery stir fry this time of year. If you can’t get your hands on pine nuts, which are traditional to the dish, feel free to swap in some roughly chopped cashews or peanuts.
Is it a meal? Is it dessert? Look, it’s whatever you want it to be — just make sure it’s thoroughly chilled and sliced with a hot knife.