This corn on the cob topping is olive oil-based instead of butter-based. It’s a mixture of olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and lemon juice that dribbles down your chin when you bite into the corn. This recipe is sponsored by Pompeian.
If you love corn on the cob, but are looking to make it without butter, this is the corn recipe for you! We’re still covering the corn in great flavor, but skipping the butter and using olive oil and other ingredients instead.
Scroll down to read more about how it all comes together or click here to jump straight down to the recipe.
Brief Background on Corn
Did you know that the first corn plants only yielded one cob per plant, each cob only an inch long? Indigenous peoples of the Americas used artificial selection to end up with crops that yielded more grain, thus bigger cobs and more cobs per plant.*
It’s hard to imagine that corn on the cob originated as something smaller than our thumbs, smaller even than baby corn, actually. There wouldn’t have been enough to enjoy on each cob. I would’ve had to have four. Or five. Or fifteen.
To be honest, even with today’s big cobs of corn I’m often tempted to have several. That’s probably a genetic thing since my mom tells us that when she was growing up, when the corn crop came in, they would feast on corn for dinner.
Just corn. Nothing else. Except for a lot of butter and salt.
Using Olive Oil Instead of Butter
Which brings me to today’s corn on the cob recipe. It’s corn with no butter.
Instead, the topping is a mixture of olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and lemon juice. If you put it on hot cobs of corn, the Parmesan melts and clings while the olive oil and lemon dribble down the cob and possibly down your chin too. It’s seriously delicious.
If you want to do some olive oil dribbling along with me, check out this handy butter-to-olive-oil conversion chart.
Cooking Corn on the Cob
This recipe tells you what to do with the corn once it’s cooked. In order to cook the corn, you’ve got several options. I like to bring a big pot of water to a boil and then add a handful of sugar. This adds extra sweetness to the corn. Stir until it dissolves. Then add the corn and simmer until done, about 5 minutes.
More Delicious Corn Recipes
- Elote – Mexican Corn on the Cob
- Creamy Corn Salad
- Corn Pudding
- Street Corn Salad
- Creamed Corn Recipe
This corn on the cob topping is olive oil-based instead of butter-based. It’s a mixture of olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and lemon juice that dribbles down your chin when you bite into the corn.
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- Salt, a good pinch
- 4 shucked and cooked cobs of corn, hot
- In a small bowl, use a fork to combine and mash together the Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and lemon juice and salt.
- Dribble it over the hot corn. Eat!
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There are several ways that you can cook the corn for this recipe. My favorite is to bring a big pot of water to a boil and then add a handful of sugar. This adds extra sweetness to the corn. Stir until it dissolves. Then add the corn and simmer until done, about 5 minutes. But you can also grill it or steam it in the microwave – here’s my recipe.
This post originally appeared in August 2014 and was revised and republished in July 2023.