Upgrade Grilled Cheese Sandwiches With Charred Sweet Summer Corn

Corn is one of summer's tastiest harvests. The succulent kernels are delicious whether eaten straight off the cob or mixed in with any number of ingredients or dishes. Thanks to corn's versatility, it's easy to get creative, and that includes upgrading your grilled cheese to a flavorful midsummer meal. Adding corn to a grilled cheese adds an unexpected layer of flavor and texture, with the slightly sweet and juicy kernels offering a delicious contrast to the gooey, melty cheese and warm, toasty bread.

Of course, few have mastered fancy grilled cheese sandwiches as well as Nancy Silverton. Her recipe for Grilled Cheese with Corn and Calabrian Chile, which she shared with Food & Wine, has us drooling and dreaming of creative ways to spice up our own grilled cheese with some fresh summer corn. Like many dishes, grilled cheese can be as boring or as exciting as you like, and elevating grilled cheese with unique ingredients is one of the best ways to spice things up. With corn in season, why not incorporate this into your next fancy grilled cheese meal? Grilling it is a great way to savor the long days and the flavor of sweet corn, plus it makes the corn less likely to water down your sandwich like boiled corn might do. Season it with your favorite spices to add extra flavor and you're on your way to the perfect grilled cheese for a hot summer day.

How to create your own corn grilled cheese

When adding ingredients like corn, what's in season is always going to be your best bet — as are whole cobs. Grilling the corn until it's nice and charred will bring out it's natural sweetness and add a deep smoky flavor that will pair beautifully with rich gooey cheese in your sandwich. 

It's worth noting that if you don't have a grill, you can still make use of this hack and add flavorful corn to your grilled cheese by oven-roasting the cobs. In a pinch, you can boil them, just be sure to dry them well before adding to your sandwich. 

Adding some spice to your corn or condiments to your sandwich is also a great way to elevate the flavor. Ingredients like paprika, chili powder, or even fresh jalapeños not only pair well with the corn, but the heat from some of these ingredients plays nicely with the rich cheese. Try spreading a little mustard or mayonnaise on the bread before cooking for an added layer of flavor.