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Fresh Corn with Pesto Butter Recipe

Corn with Pesto Butter
Allison Beck

Corn with Pesto Butter

For me, nothing says summer more than a fresh ear of corn, picked that morning out of a field in Rhode Island, simply steamed and smeared with a pat of butter. But sometimes that age-old favorite gets dull — or maybe your corn isn't as sweet as you'd like it to be. When that happens, I often turn to flavorful compound butters to add a bit more pizzazz to my cob.

The beauty of this recipe is that it can work for both steamed corn and also sautéed corn. Maybe you've got a kid who has braces, or can't stand the little pieces of corn eating the kernels off the cob results in, or (like me) you're lacking a big stockpot or sauté pan for steaming. Whatever method you choose, your dish will be delicious — just as long as your corn is fresh.

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  • 2 ears fresh sweet corn, husked
  • 3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil pesto
  • Salt, to taste
  • Fresh basil leaves, cut in a chiffonade, for garnish


Add about 1 inch of water to a stockpot and bring it to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add the corn and cook until the kernels are tender and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.*

Meanwhile, mix together the butter and pesto to combine. Place in a small bowl and chill.

At the table, slather your corn with the pesto butter (you can use a knife; I like to serve small 1 ½-inch squares of bread as a vehicle for applying the butter) and enjoy with a sprinkle of salt and fresh basil chiffonade.