One of the best days in summer is when local corn starts to appear in the farmers markets. Heavy, sweet, juicy corn picked not more than a few miles from home.
The way most people eat it — including me, most of my life — is to slather the cobs with a big stick of butter. That's fine, but too much butter-slathered corn and, well, we all know where this is headed.
My solution for corn-on-the-cob fans is my barbecue Mexican corn. I'll concede that fresh corn tastes great on its own. But sometimes I like to spice it up a bit.
This easy-to-make side dish offers big flavor without giving you a big gut. Don't even remove the husks.
This recipe uses cotija cheese, known as the "Parmesan of Mexico." Cotija cheese is a strongly flavored, crumbly cheese that is used like Parmesan is in Italian cooking.
If you can't find cotija in your supermarket, try using Parmigiano-Reggiano or feta. Don't worry about calories from mayonnaise either. Use the low-fat version. It tastes fabulous as a part of the grill "sauce."
This recipe makes a welcome, tasty addition to anything else you do on the grill — spareribs, chicken, steak or burgers, or as an accompaniment to quesadillas, tostadas, fajitas, tacos or burritos. So dig in.
Hit the store for an armful of fresh corn on the cob and get grilling. You'll have a healthy side dish at only 158 calories a serving with 6 grams of fat. Compare that to traditional corn slathered with butter, which can have 265 calories and 17 grams of fat.
Just stay away from the s'mores, apple pie and strawberry shortcake, and you might actually emerge from summer a bit slimmer.
Rocco DiSpirito is author of the "Now Eat This!" and "Now Eat This! Diet" cookbooks.