Everyday Chef: How To Grill & Flavor Corn-on-the-Cob
Alex Caspero, MA, RD, CLT
Everyday Chef, Fruits & Veggies—More Matters
Fresh sweet corn is one of my favorite late-summer treats. For a no-fuss dinner, I like to pair grilled corn-on-the-cob with tomato salad and a hunk of fresh sourdough bread. My mom used to favor this meal when I was a child and the pairing will forever remind me of hot August evenings. With roughly 75 calories and 1g of fat per ear, corn is a healthy, high-fiber side dish that’s ready in less than 10 minutes.
3 Ways to Cook Corn Perfectly Every Time
On the Stove-Top
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the husked corn, cover with a fitted lid and then remove the pot from the heat. Let stand until crisp-tender, about 8 minutes.
In the Microwave
- Place unshucked ears of corn (no more than 3 at a time) on high until the kernels are tender (you might need to pull the husk down to check), about 4 minutes.
- Remove from microwave, let cool slightly then remove the husks and silks.
On the Grill
Prepare a medium-high (400°F to 475°F) charcoal or gas grill for direct grilling. Shuck the corn and place on the grill, turning occasionally, until charred and crisp-tender, about 8 minutes.
5 Ways to Flavor Corn-on-the-Cob
While butter, salt and a little pepper are all you really need to bring out corn’s natural sweetness, these five pairings take things up a notch. I use ¼ cup butter for each of these recipes to pair with 8 ears of corn.
- Basil Pesto: Place ¼ cup butter, ½ cup basil leaves, 1 garlic clove, 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons pine nuts in a food processor and process until creamy and smooth. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
- Mexican Street Corn: Mix together 2 teaspoons chili powder, ¼ cup grated cotija cheese and ¼ cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves. Brush cooked corn with melted butter and top with chili, cheese and cilantro topping.
- Lemon Butter: Whip together ¼ cup softened butter, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tsp. fresh lemon zest, and a pinch of salt/pepper
- Cinnamon Spice: Whip together ¼ cup softened butter, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 tablespoons sugar
- Honey Sesame: Whip together ¼ cup softened butter, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon lime juice. Sprinkle with sesame seeds
Photo Credit: Alex Caspero