As I mentioned when I shared my mango habanero sauce, the taco place near us has reminded me or introduced me to a few favorites, and Mexican street corn, or elotes, is one of them. Delicious grilled corn, a squeeze of lime and topped with a gently spiced crema, cotija cheese, paprika and cilantro is just so good. But let’s face it, it’s not exactly easy to eat with any kind of grace. There is an off-the-cob equivalent called esquites which is basically the same ingredients but served in a cup. I’ve added a couple of additions to the basic idea to make this tasty Mexican street corn salad. It’s full of all your favorite flavors and makes a great side to almost any meal.
When our Foodie Extravaganza theme this month was salad and it fell during the week we are sharing Mexican recipes, I was sure I must be able to combine both. After all, I’ve made a Mexican chopped salad and mango jicama slaw before which we both love. However neither are particularly authentic. My memories or salad in Mexico are a bit vague – I tend to remember simple salads and slaws, but salsas were really king. As I looked into it, this seemed a fair reflection. So, I adapted a traditional snack/relish.
To grill or not to grill?
Having looked at different recipes for esquites, they tend to cook the corn in a pan rather than on the grill. At first I was a little skeptical, as I love that grilled flavor, but I understand it’s easier. We grilled the corn as we were grilling anyway, but I’ve described the pan method as well.
I’ve added black beans, and more cilantro/coriander and scallions/spring onions than you’d typically see with esquites to make it more of a salad. Normally you’d top it, as you would elote, with Mexican crema and cotija cheese. Here I’ve used yogurt for the dressing instead to make it a little lighter, but it’s still really creamy. Especially with the lime, cumin and smoked paprika mixed in, it’s packed with flavor. Feta works as a good alternative if you can’t find cotija (or don’t see yourself using it up). Then there’s only a little bit of chopping and mixing to put it all together.
This Mexican street corn salad is easy to prepare and packed with delicious, fresh flavor. It was an instant hit in our house and I can see it being perfect for almost any event, from potluck dinners to picnics. It will definitely be on our summer table often.
- 2 ears of corn (approx 1 cup/150g kernels - can use frozen defrosted if out of season)
- ⅓ cup/10g chopped cilantro/coriander
- 4 scallions/spring onions (gives approx ½cup chopped, including most of green part)
- ⅓cup/85g black beans
- ¼cup/1oz/30g cotija cheese/feta, roughly crumbled
- Dressing -
- ¼cup/4tbsp plain yogurt (I used Greek style)
- 1tbsp lime juice
- ½tsp ground cumin
- ½tsp smoked paprika
- If using fresh corn and you want to grill - shuck the corn including all the hairy part then grill, turning now and then and moving to a cooler part of the grill if too hot until gently grilled. You should have the odd bits brown and it will go a slightly darker yellow as it cooks. Allow to cool slightly before removing the kernels from the stem. To do this, stand on the thick end in a shallow bowl and use a sharp knife to cut down and remove kernels. Turn and repeat until all removed.
- If you'd rather pan-cook, remove the kernels first and heat a little butter or oil (or a mix, you need around 1tbsp total) in a medium skillet. Cook for around 5 minutes until the kernels have softened but are not charred then remove from heat.
- Roughly chop the cilantro and slice the scallions. Put both in a bowl along with the corn kernels, black beans and cheese.
- Mix together the dressing ingredients (yogurt, lime juice, cumin and paprika) then add to the salad and mix until all combined.
Let’s have a fiesta of Cinco de Mayo inspired recipes all week long!
- Tropical Fruit Salad from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Taco Salad Boats from Palatable Pastime
- Champurrado from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Shrimp Veracruz from the Tip Garden
- Tequila Lime Grilled Chicken from Cooking With Carlee
- Mexican Street Corn Salad from Caroline’s Cooking
- Cilantro Lime Rice from Books n’ Cooks
- Frozen Peach Margaritas from Family Around the Table
Check back each and every day for new recipes by following along with the hashtag #MexicanRecipes on social media.
The Salad Smörgåsbord
- Avocado Egg Salad by Making Miracles
Carrot Raisin Salad by Hardly A Goddess
- Cilantro Lime Cucumber Salad by Cookaholic Wife
- Crunchy Salad by Sneha’s Recipe
- Lahpet Thoke by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Mexican Street Corn Salad by Caroline’s Cooking
- Taco Salad Boats by Palatable Pastime
- Tortellini Cesar Salad by Fearlessly Creative Mammas
- Tropical Fruit Salad A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Warm Steak and Sweet Potato Salad by Our Good Life