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Fresh Corn with Pesto Butter Recipe

Staff Writer
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.

Click here to see more Spectacular Summer Corn Recipes. 



  • 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.

Corn Shopping Tip

Look for vegetables that are firm and bright in color – avoid those that are wilted or have wrinkled skins, which are signs of age.

Corn Cooking Tip

Vegetable should typically be cooked as quickly as possible, as they can become bland and mushy, and lose vitamins and minerals.