There’s something about fresh, sweet, juicy corn on the cob that just screams summer. You bite into those pearl-like kernels and taste a burst of sweet juice. It doesn’t get better than this.
Except it does: Sweet corn, in season, is really cheap. It starts out at two for $1, then four, then … well who knows? At farmer’s markets, especially at the end of the day, sometimes you can get six or more for a buck. Such a deal.
Eat cheaply and well this summer with our favorite recipes for sweet corn.
How to cook corn on the cob
Boiled corn on the cob
Fresh sweet corn is great just as is, shucked and dropped into a pot of boiling water for about four to five minutes. (Don’t overcook it.) Slather on a little butter and sprinkle on some salt and you’re in heaven.
You can get fancy and make some flavored butter to go on your cob. Just soften a stick of butter and add a handful of your favorite chopped herb, such as chives, rosemary or cilantro. You can even infuse the butter with chipotle or other chilies. Mix well, then place the butter on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll it up, twisting the ends, to make a tube of butter. Refrigerate till use. Spread the flavored butter on hot corn. Yum.
Give your corn a cheesy twist by sprinkling on finely grated cheese (we like Parmesan) while it’s hot. Or try a flavored salt.
Grilled corn on the cob
To get a smoky flavor, grill your corn. Follow these instructions from the Food Network to get perfectly grilled corn on the cob. It takes about 20 minutes. Add your favorite seasoning preference or flavored butter.
Roasted corn on the cob
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Shuck your corn and rinse the ears. One by one, spread each ear with softened butter and wrap individually in aluminum foil. Roast in the oven on a high-temp cookie sheet or sheet pan for 25 to 30 minutes, or until kernels are tender.
Campfire corn on the cob
Soak your sweet corn ears (in the husk), fully submerged in the water, for about two hours. Place soaked sweet corn on grill grate above your campfire and turn often to avoid burning the husk. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until the corn kernels are tender. Remove from fire and allow to cool slightly, then peel and enjoy with butter, salt, and pepper.
You can also cook corn on the cob in the embers or coals of a fire, wrapped in aluminum foil. Follow this recipe from Bon Appetit if you’ve got a charcoal fire.
Sweet corn recipes
If you prefer your corn off the cob, the possibilities are endless:
You’ll find tons more recipes online.
When the corn gets to the end of the season and becomes a little starchy or too tough, many of these applications work well. If you end up buying too much corn, you can always freeze it for future use.
Fresh sweet corn is good for you, too. It’s high in fiber and gluten-free. It contains some B-complex vitamins, such as thiamin, niacin, folate and pantothenic acid. It also contains minerals such as zinc, magnesium, copper, iron and manganese.
And the bonus: It also tastes soooooooo good.
Here are a few of our tried-and-true recipes.
Corn oysters recipe (corn fritters)
I like to make corn oysters as a side dish for a late summer or early fall dinner.
In a mixing bowl, combine:
- 2 cups of fresh corn (cut off the cob)
- ¼ cup flour
- Salt and pepper to taste
Add 1 tablespoon milk.
Separate 2 eggs and add yolks to this mixture.
In another bowl, beat 2 egg whites until stiff. Fold them into the corn mixture gently but thoroughly.
Heat a small amount of oil in a nonstick skillet and drop corn mixture by heaping tablespoons onto hot oil, like you’re making pancakes. Cook a few minutes on each side, till golden. Remove to a paper-towel-lined platter and keep warm until all are cooked. Serve immediately.
This recipe makes about 20 “oysters.” Figure on three or four per person.
Southwestern corn salad
One of my favorite ways to use fresh corn (or frozen, in a pinch, off-season) is with this Southwestern corn salad.
In a large mixing bowl or plastic container, combine
- 3 cups corn
- 1 (15–ounce) can black beans (rinsed and drained)
- 2 ripe tomatoes (cored, seeded and diced)
- 1 (4-ounce) can mild diced green chilies (or jalapenos, if you prefer a spicier salad)
- 1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic,
- 3 tablespoons fresh minced cilantro
- 5-6 scallions (green and white parts minced)
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Let the mixture sit at least 3 hours, refrigerated, before serving, to meld flavors. Serves 10. It’s great for summer parties and tailgates because it doesn’t spoil easily. It also doubles as a salsa.
Love summer produce? You might also like:
- Got tomatoes? Recipes to make the most of your summer tomatoes
- Tasty recipes for cheap and abundant zucchini
- Save money with healthy summer salads
- How to keep summer veggies fresh to avoid food waste