Corn salads are one of my favorite dishes to serve in the summer, when freshly picked corn is readily available just about everywhere. Eric Gower's is particularly full-flavored and zesty, perhaps because of the habanero pepper he throws in. If habaneros scare you, substitute a jalapeño or an ancho chile, which are both much milder. Make sure that, no matter what chile is used, you remove all its seeds—they're where much of the heat is concentrated.
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 medium red onion, minced (about 1 cup)
- 1 small habanera chile, seeds and veins removed, minced
- 1/2 cup minced bell pepper (multicolored peppers create a nice contrast)
- Kosher salt
- 3 ears of corn, kernels sliced from the cob with a knife
- 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
- 1/4 cup minced fresh chives
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
Melt the butter with the olive oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Add the red onion, habanero, and bell pepper. Salt liberally, and sauté for 3 minutes, until everything softens. Add the corn kernels; cook for another 3 minutes. The corn should be hot but not browned. Turn off heat.
Add the vinegar, maple syrup, and lime zest and juice; stir. Taste for salt; transfer to a warm serving bowl. Top with the chives and cilantro.