sweet corn with pecorino and red pepper

Have you feasted on summer corn on the cob yet? I love the ritual of hitting a local farm stand for super fresh corn, then shucking it outside in the backyard when we get home (you know, because it gets a little messy). Sometimes I end up with more ears than there are people to eat them, so I cut the kernels off, which I usually cook right away. Otherwise I’ll put them in a freezer bag to use later.

Here’s a quick recipe for sweet corn off-the-cob, kind of my Italian-inspired version of the Mexican street-food treat elotes, grilled corn slathered with a creamy cheese mixture and ground chili pepper.

It’s crunchy, spicy, salty and sweet all at once — yum.

I was lucky to find local white sweet corn the other day, my favorite kind. I find it tastes more “corny” than the hybrid yellow varieties. But all kinds of corn will taste delicious in this recipe, even if it’s frozen. Just defrost at room temperature for about 15 minutes before cooking.

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sweet corn with pecorino and chili

Yield 4 servings


  • 2 plump scallions/green onions
  • 1 fresh red chili pepper
  • 2-ounce chunk pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound corn kernels (about 4 cups, from 4 -5 shucked ears of corn)
  • Salt 
  • Ground paprika and lime wedges to garnish (optional)


  1. Trim the root ends and very tops off the scallions, leaving about 5 inches of green. Cut the scallions to separate the white parts from the leafy greens. Finely slice the white parts. Slice the green tops into 1/2-inch slices.
  2. Slice the chili pepper in half lengthwise, cut out the seeds if you want (I leave them in for extra heat). Slice into thin strips then crosswise into fine dice.
  3. Cut the cheese into bite-sized bits, then use a large knife to chop it until it looks like fine gravel.
  4. Put a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, white scallion, and chili. Cook for a minute or two until softened and fragrant. Add the corn with 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir together. Turn the heat down to medium and cook the corn without stirring for 2 minutes, or until it begins to caramelize lightly. Stir in the cheese and cook for 1 more minute.
  5. Add the scallion greens just before serving, and sprinkle with some paprika and a squeeze of lime if you like.


  1. this looks so good! i am going to have to try it. XO

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