Corn on the cob with sumac butter

Corn on the cob with sumac butter

Source the freshest corn you can find

Corn on the cob is one of the best things about the summer season – especially when the corn is super-sweet and juicy. And to get that kind of corn, I make a biweekly trip to a local farm where the corn is picked several times a day – thus ensuring its absolute freshness! In fact, the corn is so fresh and tender that I usually serve it on its own, seasoned with a little salt and homemade butter.

Dress your corn up with delicious sumac-spiced homemade butter!

But, now and then, I like to dress it up a bit and serve it with this sumac butter. Savory and a little lemony, this butter makes eating corn on the cob an even more wonderful treat.

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Sumac butter

Corn on the cob with sumac butter


4 servings

Prep time

20 minutes

Cooking time

5 to 15 minutes


  • For the sumac butter
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter – at room temperature

  • 2 teaspoons sumac

  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (use a microplane grater)

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • For the corn
  • 4 large ears fresh sweet corn

  • 1 tablespoon sea salt (only if boiling the corn – see step 2)

  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil (only if grilling the corn – see step 3)

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley


  • Place the butter in a small bowl. Add the sumac, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Stir until well blended and set aside.
  • For boiled corn – Shuck the corn and bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the salt and corn. Fast-simmer for 3 minutes until the corn is barely tender. (The corn will be sweeter if slightly undercooked.) Drain the corn and place on a serving tray. Spread a little of the sumac butter on each ear, rotating the ears to season them evenly. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.
  • For grilled corn – Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Shuck the corn, but leave the last two layers of husk around each ear. Brush the husks with the oil and set aside on a tray. When the grill is ready, place corn directly on the grill and grill until husks are charred, rotating the ears so that they grill evenly on all sides. Transfer to a tray and remove the husks. Spread a little of the sumac butter on each ear, rotating the ears to season them evenly. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.
Bi-color corn

Viviane’s tip

Can’t find sumac near you? No worries… You can use cumin seeds instead, but make sure to toast them first and grind them in a mortar and pestle before adding to the butter.

Corn on the cob with sumac butter


  1. Sumac is amazing! First encountered it when Lebanese friends made dolmas. Lovely lemony crunch!

  2. Pingback: 22 Corn on the Cob Recipes to Eat this Summer - Simply Stacie

  3. OMG I have been searching for ways to shake up corn on the cob and this is totally what I’m looking for! Thanks for sharing – I will be SURE to pin this to make sometime this summer!

  4. Oh how I love corn season!! I don’t know if I would know sumac if I tasted it, so you’ve made me quite curious by introducing this recipe. Need to get some sumac because corn will be coming to the markets very soon! Thanks for sharing this!

  5. I think I’ve seen sumac at Penzey’s but may go with cumin for the first round. Fresh Indiana corn is finally in season and plan to pick some up tomorrow!

    • Viviane Bauquet Farre

      Liz, this butter is delish with cumin too… But you must try Sumac sometimes soon – you’ll love it!

  6. Thank you, Mj!

  7. I’ll bet this is fantastic! Sumac is one of my favorite seasonings, I’ll have to try these this week! Thanks V!

  8. Those grilled corn on the cob look droolworthy, Viviane. Can’t wait to try your sumac butter…which would be great for some homemade bread too.

  9. Can you believe I have yet to eat a corn o the cob this season? And I love the butter. I have tons of sumac and always forget to use some, must try this recipe.

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