July 24, 2014 at 1:00 am

Simply the Best

Corn doesn't have to be on the cob to be delicious

Red bell peppers and zucchini help flavor this Southwestern stir-fry. (Kate Lawson / The Detroit News)

Fresh corn season is never long enough for my liking. I donít even mind the shucking (and get so annoyed at those at the market who pull back the husk and then toss it back on the pile) because I know that soon I will be sinking my teeth into milky white kernels drenched in butter and salt.

I can mow through an ear of corn one-handed in a minute flat and start on a second ear before my husband has even lifted his first ear off the plate. I donít care, Iím not proud, I love corn. But in order to keep my husbandís corn enthusiasm from waning (in his words, heís happy to see corn season arrive and happy to see it go), I have to create other recipes beyond tossing a buttered ear on the plate.

Corn recipes are abundant this time of year, but for my taste, the simpler the better. Sauteed corn with summer vegetables, studded with black beans and spiked with jalapeno, makes a terrific side dish to grilled chicken or pork. With more recipes like this, perhaps he wonít be so happy to see the season end. Plus, itís a dish I can manage to eat more gracefully.

Southwest Corn and Beans

Recipe from Kate Lawson

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 medium red bell peppers, cored, seeded, deribbed and chopped (or use a combination of colors)
2 small zucchini, chopped (optional)
3 cups fresh corn kernels, blanched (cut from 6 medium ears corn); two 10-ounce packages frozen corn kernels, thawed; or 3 cups canned corn kernels, drained
1 (15-ounce) can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
2 jarred jalapeŮo peppers, seeded and minced
Ĺ cup chopped cilantro or fresh parsley
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the red peppers and zucchini and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the corn and the remaining ingredients. Cook until heated through, about 1 Ĺ minutes. Serves 4.

Per serving: 340 calories; 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat; 19 percent calories from fat); 61 g carbohydrates; 10 mg cholesterol; 1,176 mg sodium; 9 g protein; 8 g fiber.