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Avocado, Toasted Corn and Chipotle Salsa

Toasting sweet corn in a hot pan lends a nuttiness to offset its natural sweetness. Here it is combined with tart tomatoes, buttery avocados and a trio of Mexican flavorings—musky cumin, spicy-smoky chipotle chiles and bright cilantro—for a fresh, colorful partner for crisp tortilla chips.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large ear of sweet corn
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 small or 1 large Haas avocados
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 2 green onions, white and light green portions, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. minced chipotle chile in adobo sauce
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Organic tortilla chips for serving

Directions:

Remove the husks and silk from the corn. Using a large, sharp knife, carefully cut the ear in half crosswise. One at a time, stand the halves, flat end down, on a cutting board and cut the kernels from the cob.

In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the corn kernels and sauté until the kernels are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.

Halve, pit and peel the avocados, then cut them into 1/2-inch dice. Add them to the bowl with the corn kernels, add the tomato, green onions and cilantro, and toss to mix. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 tsp. of the chipotle, the cumin and vinegar and pour over the corn mixture. Toss gently and season with salt and additional chipotle, if desired.

Serve the salsa immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to several hours. Bring to room temperature before serving. Transfer to a serving bowl and arrange the tortilla chips alongside. Makes about 3 cups; serves 6 to 8.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma New Flavors for Appetizers, by Amy Sherman (Oxmoor House, 2008).