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BBQ corn on the cob with pistachio-saffron butter

15 August 2016

Dunking corn in hot, salted water after grilling it on a barbecue is a delicious departure from the usual boiled corn.

BBQ corn on the cob with pistachio-saffron butter
BBQ corn on the cob with pistachio-saffron butter

Preparation time

15 minutes

Cooking time

12 minutes




  • Sunflower oil, for greasing
  • 1/2 tsp saffron threads
  • 85g/3oz/6 tbsp unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp pistachios
  • 4 sweetcorn cobs
  • 2 tbsp sea salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • freshly ground black pepper lime wedges, to serve


1. Depending on your choice, preheat a charcoal barbecue until the charcoal is burning white or turn on a gas barbecue to high. Lightly grease the rack with oil.

2. Toast the saffron threads in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat for a few seconds until fragrant, then tip them into a small food processor with the butter and garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pulse for about 1 minute, or until smooth. Transfer to a serving dish.

3. Add the pistachios to the pan and toast over a medium heat for 1–2 minutes until lightly browned, then crush using a pestle and mortar. Sprinkle the crushed pistachios over the flavoured butter and stir to incorporate. Set aside until ready to use.

4. Peel off the corn husks, remove all the silky threads and rinse the cobs well under cold running water.

5. Place the corn cobs on the barbecue and cook for about 10 minutes until tender and lightly charred, turning them every few minutes so they cook evenly. Corn cooks quickly, so keep an eye on it. You’ll hear the corn popping – that’s normal. If you would like to cook the corn on a gas hob, simply turn the flame to medium and lean the corn against the flame. Cook for 4–5 minutes, turning with tongs every minute or so.

6. While the corn is cooking, put the salt in a wide, heatproof bowl large enough for dunking all the corn at once. Add 1l /35fl oz /41⁄3 cups hot water to the bowl and stir to dissolve the salt.

7. Once the corn is cooked, use tongs to remove the cobs from the barbecue and submerge them in the hot water for a few seconds, then remove. The water will evaporate quickly. Cut the cobs in half and insert corn holders at the ends of the halves, then roll and rub them in the pistachio-saffron butter, covering them generously. Serve with some lime wedges.

Extracted from The Jewelled Kitchen by Bethany Kehdy© Bethany Kehdy 2013, 2016 published by Nourish Books, London. Paperback £14.99

Visit our Middle Eastern section for more delicious recipes


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.