When I was growing up, my parents had a wonderfully large garden in which they grew fresh vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Our menus revolved around the produce available from this sacred soil and from that of our neighbors, who always generously shared what they grew. We would feast on the freshest corn, tomatoes, and zucchini, picked minutes before preparation. The flavors were beyond description. I have so many happy memories of us sitting down to dinner, the dining room windows open, a lovely summer breeze floating through, and my dad smothering an ear of corn with butter, while saying, “It doesn’t get any better than this.” And he was absolutely right. These evenings defined contentment.
Corn on the cob was, and remains to be, a staple on our summer dinner table, in part because it’s delicious, but also because it may possibly be the easiest and fastest side dish one could prepare—at least if one follows my family’s method. Honestly, I have a pet peeve regarding almost every corn on the cob recipe I’ve come across: the amount of time in which the corn is boiled is way too long. For some reason, people want to cook corn on the cob to death, rendering the kernels deflated and starchy. Why on earth would anyone want to do that to perfectly lovely ears of corn? All they really need is just a few minutes in a large pot of boiling water in order to heat the crisp, sweet kernels. That’s it. Summer at its best.
This isn’t exactly a recipe—more like a suggestion for how corn on the cob should be prepared. You can cook as many or few as you like. Serve the hot corn with your favorite butter or compound butter and a shaker of table salt. Or, if you’re like me, eat it plain—it’s so good it needs no adornment.
Ears of corn, husks and silk removed, stem ends cut (or snapped) off
1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
2. Place the corn cobs into the water. Do not crowd the pot—if you are making it for a crowd, you may need to cook the corn in batches.
3. Allow the corn cobs to bathe in the hot tub for 3 minutes.
4. Remove them from the pot and serve immediately.
Make as much as you want, just be sure to have lots of dental floss on hand.