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CORN SEASON: Recipes for summer edamame succotash and sausage and corn gravy

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For most of us, piping hot, slathered with butter and sprinkled with salt really is the best way to enjoy corn on the cob.

Our only gripe with it? It's so good, we tend to forget that fresh corn doesn't need to be cooked to be delicious. In fact, raw corn eaten right off the cob is easily one of the freshest, sweetest ways to capture the taste of summer. And adding raw corn kernels is an easy way to push just about any salad over the top.

The best way to cut kernels from an ear of corn — cooked or otherwise — is to stand each ear on its wide end on a cutting board. Then use a serrated to knife to saw down the side of the cob, cutting just deep enough to slice off the kernels. Rotate the cob and saw down again, repeating until all of the kernels are removed.

Not ready to go raw? Here are two recipes — a corn and edamame succotash and a corn and sausage-rich "gravy" that's a meal unto itself — that still get you thinking beyond the basic cob.

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SUMMER EDAMAME SUCCOTASH

Start to finish: 25 minutes

Servings: 8

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

Pinch of red pepper flakes

2 ribs celery, chopped

1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped

4 ears corn, kernels removed

1 cup shelled edamame

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

In a large deep skillet over medium-high, melt the butter. Add the garlic, onion and red pepper flakes, then saute for 4 to 5 minutes, or until tender.

Add the celery, red pepper, corn kernels and edamame. Cook for another 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, thyme and chives, then season with salt and pepper. Cook for another 2 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition information per serving: 120 calories; 60 calories from fat (50 per cent of total calories); 6 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 10 mg cholesterol; 15 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 5 g sugar; 4 g protein; 140 mg sodium.

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SAUSAGE AND CORN GRAVY

This gravy is robust enough that adding just a bit of bread turns it into a meal. Try it over a thick slab of toasted sourdough or warm biscuits.

Start to finish: 25 minutes

Servings: 6

1 pound loose breakfast or sweet Italian sausage

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 cup corn kernels, cut from 1 ear of corn

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups milk

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

1/4 cup finely sliced scallions

In a medium saucepan over medium-high, saute the sausage, onion and corn until all are browned, about 10 minutes. Add the flour and stir to coat well. Add the milk and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes, or until thickened. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the scallions.

Nutrition information per serving: 250 calories; 140 calories from fat (56 per cent of total calories); 16 g fat (5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 60 mg cholesterol; 11 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 6 g sugar; 15 g protein; 420 mg sodium.

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