Grilled Corn with Walnut Pesto.
Grilled sweet corn on the cob smeared generously with a bright green, garlicky walnut pesto and topped with crushed walnuts for a fun, summery twist on street corn.
A plant-powered summer side dish that celebrates fresh corn, bright herbs and rich, crunchy, versatile walnuts.
Thank you to the California Walnut Board and Commission for sponsoring this Grilled Corn with Walnut Pesto recipe and post. All opinions are my own. And thanks to you, my readers, for supporting organizations and brands that make My Cape Cod Kitchen possible.
There are so many things to look forward to in the summer. Aside from lazy beach days, sunny skies, warm temps and family vacations, summer is the best time (in my opinion) for good eating – especially good eats made on the grill and eaten on the deck or good eats packed for a sunset beach picnic. Fresh, bright, light flavors abound that are so simple, yet over-the-top delicious. Juicy summer garden tomatoes sprinkled with sea salt. Summer herbs like dill, basil and cilantro tossed into salads and overtop summer dishes. Sweet summer corn on the cob grilled and rubbed with butter. All of these simple dishes are pure summer perfection.
This Grilled Corn with Walnut Pesto simple side dish is the perfect summer dish taken up a notch. It’s one of our favorite summer recipes because it celebrates sweet corn on the cob by slathering it in a bright, garlickly, nutty green pesto made with basil, parsley, garlic, California walnuts, parmesan cheese, lemon and extra virgin olive oil. This easy pesto comes together in just minutes in the food processor. Note: Make extra pesto because you’ll want to slather it on everything – like tomato and mozzarella stacks, grilled eggplant and zucchini, grilled white fish, grilled chicken or tossed it with pasta.
You’ll top the pesto slathered corn with some additional chopped walnuts. Walnuts are the perfect ingredient for summertime recipes prepared on the grill, adding both a mild, nutty flavor and a delightful crunch. The rich walnuts pair really nicely with the sweet corn on the cob and the bright, garlicky pesto.
We love adding versatile and heart-smart walnuts to summer dishes – especially appetizers (fruit and cheese platters, summer dips) salads (greens or grain based) and grilled fruit desserts (grilled peaches, plums, nectarines and pineapple).
What’s your favorite way to use walnuts in the summer? Have you tried them in pesto?
This recipe for Grilled Corn with Walnut Pesto is a party pleaser – so make it for a crowd, or just make it for your crowd. Either way, it’ll be the hit of the evening. Pair the corn with any grilled fish or meat, plus a green salad and some juicey watermelon.
Did you know? Not all nuts contain omega-3s and walnuts are the only nut to contain a significant amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the essential plant-based omega-3 fatty acid. In one ounce, there are 2.5 grams of ALA, which is more than five times the amount found in any other nut. Visit the California Walnut Board and Commission to learn more about walnuts, how to cook with them and their health benefits.
Here’s how to make this Grilled Corn with Walnut Pesto recipe:
- • Fresh corn on the cob, husked (8 cobs)
- • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- • 1 large bunch fresh basil (~2.5 ounces)
- • ½ cup packed fresh parsley, chopped
- • 1 cup California walnuts
- • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- • 2 cloves garlic
- • ¼ teaspoon salt
- • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- • ½ cup California walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350F. Place walnuts (for pesto and assembly) on a baking sheet. Toast walnuts for 5 minutes. Remove from oven. Chop when cool. Preheat grill to medium high heat. Clean and lightly oil your grill.
- FOR THE CORN: Brush each corn on the cob with vegetable oil. Place on the grill. Grill corn for 10-15 minutes, rotating corn 2-3 times throughout cooking time. Remove corn from grill and place onto serving platter.
- FOR THE PESTO: While corn is cooking, prepare pesto. Add basil, parsley, 1 cup walnuts, parmesan cheese, lemon juice and zest, garlic, salt and pepper to a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped, about 30 seconds. Drizzle in olive oil and process until combined, 15-20 seconds. Spoon pesto into a bowl.
- TO ASSEMBLE: Smear pesto with a knife over the top side of each corn on the cob. Sprinkle corn with chopped walnuts. Serve.