Oven Roasted Corn With Herb Butter
Some things will never change. Even after 11 years of living in 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, where 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 as 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 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 very 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.