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Corn on the Cob With Sumac Butter

This butter makes eating corn on the cob an even more wonderful treat.
08/19/2014 04:23pm ET | Updated December 6, 2017
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Corn on the cob is one of the best things about the summer season -- especially when the corn is super-sweet and juicy. And to get that kind of corn, I make a biweekly trip to a local farm where the corn is picked several times a day -- thus ensuring its absolute freshness! In fact, the corn is so fresh and tender that I usually serve it on its own, seasoned with a little salt and homemade butter. But, now and then, I like to dress it up a bit and serve it with this sumac butter. Savory and a little lemony, this butter makes eating corn on the cob an even more wonderful treat.

You can buy sumac in better food stores (like Williams-Sonoma), at Middle Eastern markets or at Amazon.

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Corn on the cob with sumac butter

serves 8
active time: 15 min

For the sumac butter
4 tablespoons unsalted butter - at room temperature
2 teaspoons sumac (see sources above)
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (use a microplane grater)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the corn
8 large ears fresh sweet corn
1 tablespoon sea salt (only if boiling the corn - see step 2)
2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil (only if grilling the corn - see step 3)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

Step 1: Place the butter in a small bowl. Add the sumac, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Stir until well blended and set aside.

Step 2: For boiled corn - Shuck the corn and bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the salt and corn. Fast-simmer for 3 minutes until the corn is barely tender. (The corn will be sweeter if slightly undercooked.) Drain the corn and place on a serving tray. Spread a little of the sumac butter on each ear, rotating the ears to season them evenly. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

Step 3: For grilled corn - Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Shuck the corn, but leave the last two layers of husk around each ear. Brush the husks with the oil and set aside on a tray. When the grill is ready, place corn directly on the grill and grill until husks are charred, rotating the ears so that they grill evenly on all sides. Transfer to a tray and remove the husks. Spread a little of the sumac butter on each ear, rotating the ears to season them evenly. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

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Viviane's Tip

Can't find sumac near you? No worries... You can use cumin seeds instead, but make sure to toast them first and grind them in a mortar and pestle before adding to the butter, as in this recipe (see step 1).

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