If you haven’t noticed, we talk a lot about nose-to-tail eating. Pork tenderloin for dinner? We want offal and sanguinaccio dolce, too. Roasting a whole chicken? We’ll have wings one night and drumsticks the next, then use the bones for stock when we’re done. We waste not; we want not — and that goes double for corn.
More: Don’t discard your vegetables just yet! Turn those roots and stems into dinner.
After all, summer’s golden vegetable wants you to use every last scrap. Shuck it, prep it, and get down to business: You’ll turn those silks into tea, those cobs into risotto, and those kernels into breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But while you’re congratulating yourself on your old-world thrift, don’t forget to dig into a whole cob, roasted and smothered in butter, too.
Serves 4 to 8
- 8 ears of corn, shucked
- Olive oil
- 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup basil, loosely packed
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- Preheat grill to medium hot.
- Roll corn in a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt. When grill is hot, add corn and close the lid. Rotate the corn a few times, until some of the kernels are blistered and the rest a bright and shiny yellow. This shouldn’t take longer than 8 minutes. Be careful not to overcook, or the corn will be dry.
- Meanwhile, add the butter, basil, and salt to a food processer and let it rip. You may need to scrape down the sides once or twice. When the basil is finely chopped and the butter has a light green tint, it’s done.
- When the corn comes off the grill, slather it with the basil butter. Sprinkle with a little more salt if desired. Eat immediately.
- Note: basil butter can be made ahead and extra basil butter will keep for about a week or two in the fridge. You can roll it into a log with plastic wrap and slice it off as you need it. It’s AMAZING on toast.
Photo of corn fritters by Carey Nershi; photo of kettle corn by Eric Moran; all others by James Ransom
This article originally appeared on Food52.com: 12 New Ways to Eat Corn This Summer