Some things will never change. Even after 11 years living Northern California, I still consider myself a New Yorker. And so when this time of year arrives, I think of corn–the kind of colorful, sweet, cobs of corn that were plentiful on the south fork of Eastern Long Island, were I have spent much time over the years. You could stop at almost any roadside fruit and vegetable stand and find piles of golden corn with great flavor but without New York City prices.
With these fond memories, August has always remained “the time to eat corn.” Sweet corn is actually a variety of maize and is the type most frequently eaten “on the cob”. The other five varieties include: popcorn, flour corn, dent corn, flint corn, and pod corn. Sweet corn gets harvested early, this is before the sugar gets converted into starch. As a result, the kernels have a higher sugar content; this allows sweet corn to be classified a vegetable instead of a grain. Corn is one of the easiest vegetables to prepare. If you ask my brother-in-law, the corn king, there are only a few steps. Place the corn in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes. That’s it. No fuss, no hassle. I use this method often, but I sometimes I like to mix it up a bit. Corn can also be grilled, although it takes a bit more vigilance to get it just right. You can also make corn by roasting it in the oven. And that, like boiling it, is easier than you might realize. Oven roasting takes a bit longer than boiling, but requires vary little effort overall. Served hot with a flavorful herb butter (also known as a compound butter), you can really elevate this otherwise simple side dish. The herb butter can easily be made in advance and will keep for a few days. So enjoy the delicious corn while you can get it as Summer winds down, it won’t be around that much longer.
Oven Roasted Corn With Herb Butter
- 6 ears sweet corn, husks removed
- 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin olive oil
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 3 garlic cloves, grated
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons cilantro, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons chives, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- dash of Old Bay
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Step 2 In a small mixing bowl add the softened butter, garlic, thyme, cilantro, chives, parsley, salt, pepper and Old Bay. Mix well to incorporate. Set aside.
- Step 3 Lightly brush the ears of corn with the olive oil. Place the corn directly on the oven rack and cook until tender, about 30 minutes.
- Step 4 Once the corn is soft, turn on the broiler and broil, rotating ears once until you see nice coloration, about 10 minutes.
- Step 5 Once the corn comes out of the oven, immediately brush all over with a generous amount of the herb butter. Serve hot.