Easiest Summer Ever: Corn, Chorizo, Cilantro, and Lime

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An easy salad starring corn and chorizo. J. Kenji López-Alt

I could write an entire book just about the things that go well sautéed with sweet summer corn. I'm serious about that. So serious that I might even do it some day. You can sauté corn with beans into a nice summer succotash. I cook it with roasted tomatoes as a topping for crispy Parisian gnocchi. Just last night, I threw together a dish of corn sautéed in bacon fat with sliced shishito peppers, scallions, halloumi, and a big drizzle of chili-infused Mike's Hot Honey. When corn is in season, there's no end to the simple meals you can make out of it.

So it seemed like a no-brainer to include corn as part of our Easiest Summer Ever collection of four-ingredient, no-fuss, vegetable-centric recipes. In this one, I start with some diced Spanish-style chorizo. I'm talking the raw, dry-cured kind that's flavored with smoked paprika and has nice pockets of firm pork fat. I dice it up and cook it over moderate heat in a large skillet with olive oil to help render out that crimson-tinted fat.

Once the chorizo is crisp, I add a few ears' worth of corn kernels and increase the heat, sautéing the corn until it's tender and browned. Charred corn takes on a really deep, nutty sweetness that raw or steamed corn doesn't get, and it's my favorite way to cook corn for intensely savory side dishes. To be quite honest, this dish is good enough with just those two ingredients, but a nice handful of chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems and a big squeeze of fresh lime juice brighten it all up.

I told you this was easy, right? Who has time to spend in a hot kitchen in the summer when there are books that need writin'?