The key to these sauces is the melted butter. It needs to be hot to coax the herbs to release their flavor. Don't give it a chance to cool off. If it starts to congeal, reheat it. Allow 1 teaspoon of sauce for each small serving of corn, or 1 tablespoon for a whole ear.

Cilantro-Lime Butter Sauce

Makes a scant 1/2 cup

The lime and cilantro flavor blend beautifully with sweet corn. Make sure to chop the cilantro as finely as possible to bring out the flavor.

2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

Zest and juice of 1 lime

1/2 teaspoon sugar

6 tablespoons hot melted unsalted butter

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, combine the cilantro, lime zest and juice, sugar and butter. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir. Let sit 15 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.

Per teaspoon serving: 28 calories, 0 g protein, 0 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat, 8 mg cholesterol, 2 g saturated fat, 12 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber

Ginger-Garlic Butter Sauce

Makes 1/2 cup

This sauce would make almost any vegetable a star. The ginger and garlic are cooked just enough to release their flavors.

1 tablespoon minced ginger root

1 tablespoon minced garlic

About 1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sesame oil

6 tablespoons hot melted unsalted butter

Using a large knife, mince the ginger and garlic together with the salt to create a paste. Place a small saute pan over medium heat; add the sesame oil and the ginger-garlic paste. Let cook for about 2 minutes, stirring, and then add the hot melted butter. Remove from the heat and let sit 15 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.

Per teaspoon serving: 33 calories, 0 g protein, 0 g carbohydrates, 4 g fat, 8 mg cholesterol, 2 g saturated fat, 25 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber

Spicy Brown Sugar and Orange Butter Sauce

Makes 1/2 cup

A small amount of red pepper flakes can pack a punch.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

2 tablespoons orange juice

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste

About 1/4 teaspoon salt

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. While it's still hot, add remaining ingredients and stir. Let the sauce cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit 15 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.

Per teaspoon serving: 29 calories, 0 g protein, 1 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat, 8 mg cholesterol, 2 g saturated fat, 25 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber

Sriracha-Spiked Barbecue Sauce

Makes 1/2 cup

The few ingredients here are tossed together, given just enough heat to blend the flavors and mixed with butter.

Sriracha can be found in the Asian section of most supermarkets. Its flavor, similar to fresh pureed chili peppers, is addictive.

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup ketchup

1 teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce

1/2 teaspoon sugar

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. While it's still hot, add remaining ingredients and stir. Let the sauce cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk the ingredients to create a well-blended sauce.

Per teaspoon serving: 21 calories, 0 g protein, 1 g carbohydrates, 2 g fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 1 g saturated fat, 8 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber

Summer Herb-Butter Sauce

Makes a scant 1/2 cup

This sauce is in the tradition of beurre blanc, the classic French sauce.

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1 tablespoon chopped tarragon

1 tablespoon chopped chives

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon lemon juice

6 tablespoons hot melted unsalted butter

On a cutting board, chop the herbs together until they are finely minced. Transfer to a small bowl and add salt and pepper to taste, the lemon juice and the butter. Stir to combine. Let sit 15 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.

Per teaspoon serving: 27 calories, 0 g protein, 0 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat, 8 mg cholesterol, 2 g saturated fat, 12 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber

Recipes tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick; e-mail questions to food@washpost.com

Stephanie Witt Sedgwick last wrote for Food about watermelon.