5 Ingredients or Fewer

Fresh Corn Salad With Brown Butter, Chives & Chiles

May 17, 2021
6 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten. Prop Stylist: Brooke Deonarine. Food stylist: Anna Billingskog.
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 5 minutes
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

Juicy, ripe, peak-season ingredients don’t need much help. Amanda Hesser wrote about this years ago, with her Brown Butter Tomatoes, and the simplicity of that dish has stuck with me to this day. Here, I’ve swapped out tomatoes and called in corn. While many recipes cook this ingredient—boil, roast, pan-sear, grill, etc—one of my favorite preparations is leaving it raw, when it is sweet and succulent, like just-picked blueberries. In this recipe, we’ll toss the kernels with chopped chives, then douse that mixture with brown butter and fried Fresno chiles. (Fresno chiles are comparable in spice to jalapeños. If you aren’t one for spicy things, use just a few slivers, or skip them altogether.) The dish looks borderline fancy, but takes minutes, and gets along with any protein, from chicken to fish. One thing to keep in mind before you get started: Make sure the corn is room temperature, not cold. If it’s cold, the butter will seize up quicker, giving you less time to relish the dish. You want to eat it right away, while the butter is still warm and melty. —Emma Laperruque

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Fresh Corn Salad With Brown Butter, Chives & Chiles
  • 2 ears corn, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped chives, at room temperature
  • 1 pinch kosher or flaky salt, plus more to taste
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 Fresno chile, sliced into coins as thinly as possible, plus more to taste
  1. Use a very sharp knife to cut the corn kernels off the cob. Add them to a bowl along with the chives. Season with a pinch of salt and toss. Taste and add more salt if needed. Divide between two plates.
  2. Add the butter to a very small saucepan, along with the chile slices, and set over medium heat. Melt the butter until the milk solids at the bottom of the pan start to brown and smell like toasting hazelnuts. This will take about 4 minutes, but the best thing to do is watch it like a hawk as soon as the butter has melted. Take the butter as far as you possibly can without burning it, then immediately spoon it over the corn-chive mixture. Top with the fried chiles and another pinch of salt.
  3. Encourage everyone to toss the mixture a bit so the corn gets completely coated and eat immediately while the butter is still warm.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Francesca Belanger
    Francesca Belanger
  • Elizabeth Detrich
    Elizabeth Detrich
  • JulieS
  • Emma Laperruque
    Emma Laperruque
Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

6 Reviews

louisepeacocke June 19, 2022
Excellent. I can see how smoked salt (like Malden's smoked) could add to this. The chives made it- I tasted it pre-chive and it was good. Post.chive addition, it was excellent. This will be a new Summer staple dish. Thanks, Emma L.!
Linda D. August 10, 2021
Another winner, Emma. Thank you! Hatch instead of fresno-yum!
Francesca B. August 31, 2020
Unbelievably good. I had some tiny red onions from the farm stand where I bought my corn, so I used those, sliced paper-thin, instead of chives. Will definitely try to fit this in again before corn season ends.
Elizabeth D. August 20, 2020
A+ recipe! I used Fresno, Serrano, and Jalepeno peppers to get depth of heat & spice - it was delicious! I finished the dish with a light sprinkling of a Cedar-Smoked Sea Salt - it was perfection. It has a touch of sweet, spice, and salt. What a lovely recipe!
JulieS August 15, 2019
So simple, but so delicious! Local corn where I live is at it's peak right now and this was the perfect showcase for it. I used grassfed butter and added some perline/pearl sized mozzarella at the end. Don't pass this one by, the flavor of the fresno chilies crisped up in the brown butter makes this dish incredible!
Emma L. August 15, 2019
Thanks so much, Julie!