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[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Growing up in Indiana, I was basically required by law to eat my fair share of sweet summer corn. Not that I'm complaining—there are few vegetables that I look as forward to devouring during this time of year. Thing is, almost all of it was eaten straight off the cob, with only butter and salt needed to complete the side dish. There may be no fundamentally better way to enjoy sweet corn, but it's certainly not the only one. As I've found recently, corn can add its distinct pop to all kinds of salads. That's definitely the case here, where the kernels are paired with apple cider vinegar, sugar, red onion and mint.

To play off the light and crunchy salad, I need something on the opposite side of spectrum. What better than a funky, gamey bite of lamb? I don't often cook the meat because it can get expensive, but I do have a soft spot for little lamb chops, even if I need two for a full meal. To amp up the flavor, I sprinkled on an Indian-inspired rub made with loads of garam masala and cayenne. The complex spice and heat further help the meat to play off the corn salad.

About the author: Nick Kindelsperger is the editor of Serious Eats: Chicago. He loves tacos and spicy food. You can follow him as @nickdk on Twitter.

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