Lemon and Basil Confetti Corn

There's nothing quite like eating fresh corn in the summer. Talk about a seasonal ingredient at it's finest! It's times like these when I get super excited to make one of my favorite side dishes, Confetti Corn.

I thought I had found the perfect recipe for this simple, seasonal and perfectly fresh tasting side dish, but I was wrong, oh so wrong! Cole gave me this cookbook for Valentine's Day that now sits perched up on a book stand on display in our kitchen (it's a gorgeous looking cookbook). It's called, The Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt. 

I know, only a nerd would get me a cookbook called The Food Lab! Kidding, of course! This book is super neat though. Kenji, chef and James-Beard Award winning food columnist, takes a scientific approach to cooking, exploring the best possible techniques and methods for cooking classic recipes like mac and cheese, chili, pastas and even simply how to make the perfect scrambled egg. The first night we cooked from it we couldn't help but try his method for how to cook the perfect pan-seared, butter-basted steaks. Cole was almost nerding out harder than I was! 

So I took a few flips through the pages once again recently, as I like to do on occasion, and found a method for a summer corn and zucchini saute that looked awfully reminiscent of my beloved Confetti Corn. The weather was calling for it and I just so happened to have some of the ingredients on hand, so I decided to give it a go.

Kenji's concept for Confetti Corn is pure genius. Seared vegetables with a touch of warm spices that form a caramelized crust, paired with fresh basil and lemon juice – that's it! The lemon and basil on already perfect, seasonal summer vegetables are everything. Simple, clean and uncomplicated flavors – just how summer recipes should be. 

P.S. We served it alongside these succulent Grilled Herb Prawns. Talk about a winning combo!

Lemon and Basil Confetti Corn

Inspired by Pan-Seared Zucchini and Corn from The Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

Serves 4


  • 2 small zucchini, chopped into half into cubes
  • 2 ears of corn, kernels removed
  • 1 small to medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn to char for about 2 minutes without stirring. Stir to rotate kernels on the other side and char again for about 2 minutes. Repeat this for about 10 minutes until all kernels are golden and brown. Add onion and cook for about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from skillet and set aside in a large serving dish. 

Add remaining oil to skillet and add zucchini. Char for about 2 minutes without stirring. Flip zucchini and cook for another 2 minutes on each side. Add red pepper flakes. Cook for another 2 minutes and then add to dish with corn and onion mixture. Fold in lemon juice, basil, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Serve warm – enjoy!

Making this recipe? Take a photo and share with me on Instagram. Be sure to use the hashtag #HungryAliEats so we can follow along.

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