Sweet corn season is starting for us. Maybe a little earlier here than the rest of the country, as we are just starting to get our first batches from California. But it will be coming to everyone pretty soon. And when it gets to you, you’ll want to give this grilled corn with herbs recipe a try.
Fresh sweet corn is delicious just about any way you make it, so it is easy to experiment without worrying about ruining those beautiful little nuggets on the cob. This combination of young corn with a dressing of mixed fresh herbs turned out to be so special, it will now be on my regular rotation.
Normally everyone likes to add a little fat to corn on the cob in the form of butter. In this recipe, the fat comes from the use of healthier extra virgin olive oil. And the rest of the ingredients are so light and fresh it makes you feel like you are sitting in a shady spot enjoying a wonderful outdoor meal.
let’s go about making some grilled corn with herbs
Recently, I shared a recipe for re-purposing leftover brisket, in which I included instructions for making chimichurri. In Brazil, you can often find local variations of chimichurri that make more use of onion than garlic. I based the dressing for the grilled corn with herbs on these more salad-like Brazilian variations. But really, you can make it with whatever fresh herbs you have on hand.
I’m always going to encourage culinary experimentation. It’s good for the tummy and the soul.
I like to grill the corn in the husk. I think the husk helps retain some moisture around the kernels so that they steam and grill at the same time, allowing for both faster and more even cooking than just grilling alone.
It also helps protect the cobs from the direct flame, which can cause too much charring.
To help seal in some moisture into the husks, soak them in salted water for about an hour, after removing the silk. Just carefully pull back the husks without tearing them off, pull away all the silk, then lift the husks back over the cob. Add a tablespoon of salt to a big bowl of water and let them sit on the counter.
Then mix the ingredients for the herb dressing and let it sit at room temperature as well, so that the onion and herbs, brightened by the lemon juice, infuse the olive oil. Add salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.
Once the corn has soaked for an hour, pre-heat an outdoor grill with the lid down to medium or medium-low.
Shake off the excess water from the ears of corn, then place them directly on the grill, and close the lid.
Cook them with the lid down for about 15 – 20 minutes, rotating them every 5 minutes.
Keeping the grill at medium or medium-low should keep the flame low enough to prevent incinerating the husks.
When the kernels are tender, remove the corn from the grill and peel off the husks completely…
…and serve warm drizzled with the herb dressing.
I like to top the corn with a row of herbs, adding more as I eat around the cob.
I’m not going to lie, folks. Eating this beautiful grilled corn with herbs can be a little bit messy. But then, that is how all corn on the cob needs to be. Tender, crunchy, fresh, herby…and messy.
So, grab some extra napkins and enjoy!
- 4 ears of sweet corn in the husks
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons diced sweet onion
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
- Salt for herb dressing plus 1 tablespoon for soaking corn
- Fresh cracked pepper
- Carefully peel back the husks from the ears of corn without tearing them off.
- Then pull away all the corn silk.
- Lift the husks back over the corn.
- Soak the corn in a large bowl, covered with water and 1 tablespoon of salt for one hour
- Mix the remaining ingredients to make the fresh herb dressing in a shallow bowl and allow to sit at room temperature until the corn is grilled.
- When the corn is finished soaking, pre-heat a grill with the lid closed to medium or medium-low setting.
- Then drain any excess water from the ears of corn and set directly on the grill grate.
- Close the lid and cook for 15 - 20 minutes, rotating every 5 minutes and grill until the kernels are tender to taste.
- Remove any remaining husk.
- Serve warm with the fresh herb dressing.