Whether steamed, grilled or quickly boiled, we love fresh corn on the cob—especially right now, when it's at its sweetest. Locally sourced and just-shucked yields the finest flavor, which quite possibly makes it one of late summer's best vegetables—not to mention one of the cheapest.
Going naked (the corn, that is!) and allowing its pure flavor to shine is admirable and quite delicious, but you can also get creative with your cob. Here are some of our favorite ways you should dress it up when corn is at its peak flavor and before it morphs into a dried-out adornment on the Thanksgiving table.
① Bread and Butter, Salt and Pepper
Just like Grandma used to make: Spread a thick, creamy slab of unsalted butter onto a pillowy piece of plain white sandwich bread. Next to it, have ready a dish of flaky sea salt and a pepper mill. Roll the hot, steamed corn cob over the butter, making sure to bathe each kernel. Finish with the flaky salt and a heavy hit of freshly ground pepper. Be sure to get a tear of the buttered bread at the end.
Mexican street-style corn is all the rage—for a reason. Combine equal parts mayonnaise and sour cream, then season with chili powder and kosher salt, to taste. Spoon and spread one and a half teaspoons of this mixture onto a charred, grilled corn cob. Sprinkle over a handful of crumbled Cotija cheese, a squeeze of lime juice and some fresh cilantro leaves. Pop open a Tecate (optional).
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③ Miso Butter and Yuzu Kosho
Feeling funky? Whip softened, unsalted butter with white miso and brush onto grilled corn for an umami-packed bite. Craving spice? Stir a pinch of yuzu kosho, a Japanese fermented paste made from spicy pepper, yuzu peel and salt, into the butter before basting. Garnish with chopped scallions and torn shiso leaves for a fresh finish.
④ Buffalo Wing Sauce and Blue Cheese
A game-day favorite gets corny: Smother blistered corn with tangy buttermilk blue cheese dip (worth the time it takes to make) for a cooling balance, but we wouldn't be mad at a couple of crumbled pieces scattered on top, too. And to make it authentically buffalo-esque, don't forget the celery. A pinch of celery salt and a few torn celery heart leaves bring it all together.
⑤ Tahini Glaze with Mint and Parsley Salad
Take your cob to the Mediterranean. In a small bowl, stir tahini with a pinch of both kosher salt and honey. Combine two parts torn parsley and one part torn mint. Season the herbs with sumac, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of lemon zest. Brush the tahini glaze onto a steamed or quickly boiled corn cob, and scatter the fresh herb mix over top.