Sunday, July 25, 2010

Corn off the cob: Sauteed with Tons of Herbs

Tons of Herbs

Confession time: I am not the hugest fan of corn on the cob. I mean, I like it. I eat it. It often shows up around hot dogs, so there's that. But. I wore braces on my top and bottom teeth for over five years. Five very formative years, ages 12 to 17. And though I regularly eschewed the rules of food unfit for a metal mouth, corn was just (forgive me) too much of a pain to clean out of the braces, so I wasn't ever excited to see it.


Sadly, I was not the kind of kid who wanted to take over any part of dinner prep. (Sorry, Mom. Incidentally, thanks for showing me how to sew on a button; I totally fixed a pair of pants last week!) So while the rest of the family mutilated the butter in the dish trying to butter their cob, I usually reached instead for a second hot dog. Actually, I still reach for a second hot dog... ANYWAY had I explored the options any, perhaps I would have found something like this recipe, which has you cut the kernels off the cob and saute them in butter. I bet 13 year old me would have liked this.

Action Shot!

Also, curiosity begs me poll the readers: do you eat your corn on the cob in rows, typewriter style, or in circles?

Sauteed Corn

Summer Corn Saute with Tons of Herbs
adapted from Bon Appetit, August 2010
serves 4 as a side

The original recipe is a bit bigger, I've scaled it down here. You can use pretty much whatever fresh herbs you have around, just make sure you include dill and tarragon (if you can't find tarragon, use a bit more dill). Ideally you would use 1 part dill, 1 part tarragon, 4 parts a mix of other stuff. Go easy on the hardier herbs like thyme and oregano, they can be overpowering. In addition to dill and tarragon I used basil, cilantro, and chives, plus a small sprig each of thyme and oregano. As long as you end up with 3/4 to 1 cup of fresh chopped herbs, you're good to go. 

2 Tablespoons butter
1 shallot, chopped small
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
5 ears fresh corn, shucked, kernels cut from the cob
1/2 - 3/4 cup assorted chopped fresh herbs (basil, parsley, cilantro, chives, etc - see head note)
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallot and cumin, saute until the shallot has taken on a golden color, 4-5 minutes. Add the corn and season with a teaspoon of kosher salt and 10-12 grinds of black pepper. Stir frequently for 5 minutes, or until corn is tender. Shut off the heat and mix in all the herbs. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.


  1. Love this idea--good way to use our balcony herbs that need trimming!

  2. I was just looking at this recipe and thought how wonderful it would be with the great corn we've been getting from our CSA. Wonderful post!

  3. My husband always cuts the corn off the cob (perhaps because he also had braces?), and I've started eating it that way too and like it way better! Last night I made a corn-off-the-cob, green pepper and potato salsa to go on some tacos.

  4. A friend of mine had these at their 4th of July cookout, I'd never even heard of them (or cutting corn OFF the cob) before. Might be something to add to your registry :)

  5. Maggie, exactly! I gave the basil shrub quite a haircut for this.

    Brian - we used CSA corn, too!

    Dan, that's hilarious! I'm not much of a gadget gal, but thanks for the chuckle :)

    Jess, green pepper and POTATO salsa? Tell me more...

  6. Hi HOney,
    I like the action shot of you cutting the kernels off the cob....did Adam take that pic?
    Also, no problem with your lack of interest in dinner prep, you are making up for it now, just bring me another Guinness Chocolate Cake and we'll call it even :)

  7. in rows, and often raw :) especially when it's just me! this looks delicious, though :)

  8. I've been OBSESSED with corn lately. Had it twice last week and have it on the menu for tonight.
    Your question made me think... I think I eat it in rows. :)

  9. lovely! and really fresh and great for summer!!!
    nice and tasty!!!
    i do have to try it!
    = )


  10. I love corn on the cob, but this sounds even more fabulous! And I love how versatile it is.