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Eating for Life | Herbes de Provence give American corn on the cob a French accent

The Kansas City Star

Editor’s note: This column was originally published in The Star’s Food section on July 22, 2009.

Corn on the cob slathered with butter is one of those all-American summer traditions we hold dear.

Of course, everybody has a certain way of marking the celebration. Some folks roll their cobs across a stick of butter; others are a bit more genteel and use a piece of bread spread with butter to rub across the kernels.

But if you really want to buck tradition, try The Star’s Grilled Corn-on-the-Cob With Creamy Herb Sauce.

First, the corn is grilled rather than boiled to highlight the natural sweetness. Then the gently roasted kernels are kissed with a delicious low-fat spread made from reduced-fat mayo and low-fat sour cream flecked with parsley, Parmesan and herbes de Provence.

Herbes de Provence (pronounced HERB duh proh-VAWNS) is a blend of dried herbs typical of southern France and commonly contains basil, fennel seed, lavender, marjoram, rosemary, sage, summer savory and thyme. The fragrant mixture gives this summer fave a creamy and slightly decadent twist worth raving about.

Under it all, corn is a high-fiber, high-carbohydrate food that is low in fat and sodium. Corn also is a fair source of vitamin A. Finally, leaving the husk on the corn makes for a rather snazzy presentation. Or, as the French like to say: Ooh-la-la!

• Shopping tip: Typically packed in miniature clay crocks, herbes de Provence can also be found in bottles at most large supermarkets.

Grilled Corn on the Cob

With Creamy Herb Sauce

Makes 4 servings

4 medium ears of corn, not shucked

2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise

1 tablespoon low-fat sour cream

1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence, crushed

Fold down the husks on the corn (similar to peeling a banana) to reveal all of the corn but do not remove them from the corn. Remove silk and wash. Using cooking twine, tie the husks together 1 to 2 inches below the cob. Place corn in cold water to cover and allow to soak about 15 minutes.

Mix remaining ingredients. Allow to stand at room temperature while preparing corn.

Preheat grill to medium-high or allow coals to burn down to white ash. Lift corn out of water, then spray with butter-flavored nonstick spray coating. Grill corn over direct heat about 15 minutes or until kernels are just crisp-tender and slightly charred, turning to brown evenly.

Serve corn hot and brush each ear with about 1/4 of sauce.

Per serving (1 ear of corn, 1 tablespoon sauce): 124 calories (27 percent from fat), 4 grams total fat (1 gram saturated), 4 milligrams cholesterol, 18 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams protein, 75 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber.

Recipes developed for The Star by professional home economists Kathryn Moore and Roxanne Wyss. To reach Jill Wendholt Silva, The Star’s food editor and restaurant critic, call 816-234-4347, send email to or follow her on Facebook.

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