Summer is in full swing here in New England. It’s the perfect time for backyard BBQ’s and picnics at the beach. I’m always on the lookout for new salad ideas this time of year. Recipes that take advantage of seasonal produce and ones that pair with whatever we decide to throw on the grill. Even better if they can be made in advance and easily transported to a get together or picnic.
I made this Mexican Street Corn salad for our daughter’s first birthday party (which happened to fall on Cinco de Mayo!) and I couldn’t wait to make it again once we had access to sweet summer corn!
Traditional elotes, or Mexican street corn, usually consists of grilled corn on the cob topped with a drizzle of spicy mayo, lime juice, and crumbled cheese. It’s delicious, but it can be pretty messy. That’s where this salad comes in! All of the goodness without the mess. It comes together in no time and makes the perfect summer side dish. Eat it as a salad on it’s own, scoop it up with tortilla chips or add it to tacos….the possibilities are endless!
I decided to saute the corn on the stove top, but you could also grill it which adds a nice smokey flavor. If you can’t find cotija cheese at your grocery store feta is a nice alternative. I’ve made this salad the traditional way with mayonnaise, but have found plain yogurt to be equally delicious in this recipe. Feel free to use whatever sounds good to you!
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 4 ears corn, shucked, kernels removed (about 3 cups)
- Pinch of salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise or plain yogurt
- 2 ounces cotija or feta cheese, crumbled
- ½ cup green onions, sliced
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Juice of one lime
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the corn kernels and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 8-10 minutes until corn is tender and slightly charred.
- Transfer corn to a large bowl and let cool slightly.
- Once corn has cooled, add the mayonnaise/yogurt, cheese, green onions, cilantro, jalapeño, garlic and lime juice. Season with cumin and smoked paprika. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.