Corn on the cob is one of the foods that makes you think of summer. Frozen cobs are such a sad substitute that we wait patiently for warm months, when freshly picked ears appear at the grocery store or farmers market.
Corn — which is actually a grain, not a vegetable — is a good choice for a summer meal because you can cook it without heating up the kitchen. All you need is a grill. And while grilled corn is delicious by itself, we looked for a preparation that you may not have tried.
Leo and Benno Batali, teenage sons of famous chef Mario Batali, included a recipe called Italian Corn in “The Batali Brothers Cookbook,” which they published in 2013. Parmigiano-Reggiano, a cheese that comes from Italy, makes this recipe “unforgettable,” the brothers write. And the cheese doesn’t get in the way of another benefit of corn on the cob: You don’t need a fork or knife to eat it.
Adult help: Yes
Tools: Grill, tongs, measuring cups, 13-by-9-inch dish, shallow dish or bowl
Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Makes: 6 servings
●6 ears corn
●Vegetable oil to grease the grill
●1 cup balsamic vinegar
●1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
●About 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or more as needed
● Shuck the corn, or remove the green leaves. Then remove any remaining silks, which are threads that often stick to the corn. Throw away the leaves and silks.
● With an adult’s help, prepare a grill for direct heat. If using a gas grill, preheat to medium-high (450 degrees). If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them under the cooking area for direct heat. For a medium-hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for about 4 or 5 seconds. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames. Lightly coat the grill rack with oil and place it on the grill.
● Meanwhile, pour the balsamic vinegar into a 13-by-9-inch shallow baking dish. Place half the cheese in a similarly sized bowl or dish.
● Drizzle the ears with the oil; rub so the kernels are evenly coated. Use tongs to transfer the corn to the grill grate. Cook, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, using the tongs to turn the ears every 3 minutes so the corn is evenly cooked. Transfer to a platter.
● Working with a few cooked ears at a time, use the tongs to transfer them to the vinegar, rolling until completely coated, then immediately transfer them to the cheese, again, rolling to coat evenly. Transfer the corn to a platter.
● After you’ve rolled 3 or 4 ears, add the remaining half of the cheese to its separate dish. Coat and roll the remaining cooked ears of corn in the vinegar and cheese.
● Serve warm, drizzled with a bit of the vinegar from the baking dish.
Nutrition | Per serving: 240 calories, 11 g protein, 30 g carbohydrates, 11 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 280 mg sodium, 4 g dietary fiber, 7 g sugar