Cook the Book: Grilled Corn on the Cob

Cook the Book: Grilled Corn on the Cob

Few foods conjure up fond memories of summers past like grilled corn on the cob. Sweet, perfect, and only available for a few summer months, from barbecues to clam bakes, no outdoor cooking event is complete without a few ears of corn. Everyone knows that corn is fantastic served simply with a slather of butter and some salt but it can also be turned into something sublime with a few simple additions. A sprinkle of Old Bay or a squeeze of lime juice and a dusting of chili powder are just some ideas.

Adam Perry Lang's time spent cooking in New Mexico inspired him to leave the world of fancy French restaurants to pursue a career in barbecue. This recipe for Grilled Corn on the Cob from Serious Barbecue uses a Southwestern cilantro pesto to spice up grilled ears of corn. Leaving the corn in its husk ensures that the corn will stay sweet and juicy throughout the cooking process.

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  • Yield:8


  • 8 ears of unhusked corn
  • For the cilantro pesto:
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, large stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled, and grated on a Microplane grater
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground fresh black pepper
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 limes, each cut into 4 to 6 wedges
  • Fleur de sel
  • 16 tablespoons (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pats


  1. 1.

    Keeping the husks attached, peel them back in sections on each ear of corn, and remove the silk. Cover the exposed corn with the husk. Soak the corn in cold water for 5 to 10 minutes

  2. 2.

    Preheat one grate of a charcoal or gas grill to medium-high and another to high.

  3. 3.

    Place the cilantro, lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a small food processor or in a blender and pulse to combine. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the oils. Alternately the pesto can be combined by hand. Set aside.

  4. 4.

    Place the corn, still covered by the husk, on the medium high grate. Cook for 3 minutes, turn to the other side, and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from the grill, peel back the husk, return to the high grate to mark and lightly char the corn on all side, turning and jockeying between medium and high as needed for 5 to 7 minutes total.

  5. 5.

    Remove the corn from the grill and brush generously with the pesto. Squeeze lime over the ears and sprinkle with fleur de sel. Serve with any remaining lime and pats of butter on the side.