Sweet kernels of corn with just a hint of creaminess and delicious salty cheeses mixed in…what is not to love?
A Sweet Summer Side Dish
I have seen other recipes referring to this salad as esquites, a traditional Mexican-style street food. I will have to search harder next time I am in Mexico for a sample of esquites, but here on the border we simply call it “corn in a cup” or “elote en vaso.” Street vendors set up shop in the Fall and sell roasted corn kernels in large cups. The sweet corn is smothered in sour cream, mayo, chile, lime juice, and queso fresco. It is a delicious as it sounds! My kids would be so excited to see the elote man outside of our supermarket. Of course, I would get everyone their own cup, because there was no way I would share mine with them!
An original indigenous American snack
I imagine that the indigenous tribes of Latin America enjoyed sweet corn snacks too. However, milk products were brought by the colonists about 500 years ago, as well as onions, garlic, and olive oil. So the original version of “esquites” was simply a serving of sweet corn flavored with chile. Corn and chile are both native to the Americas and esquites would have been a very early indigenous snack food.
But I do love the addition of colonial ingredients such as cheese, lime juice, and onions on my sweet corn. Add a little mayo, and you have the most gorgeous Roasted Corn Salad for all of your summer get-togethers. It really doesn’t matter what you call this lovely summer side dish. Everyone will love it and ask you for the recipe!
FYI there are many types of chile powder on the market – smoky spicy chipotle chile powder, cayenne powder (very spicy!), and mild chile powder – the mild variety is my favorite but use whatever type fits your preference.Print
Roasted Corn Salad
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 12 servings 1x
5 ears fresh corn, shuck and silk removed
2 tbsp. olive oil (30ml)
3 green onions, minced
½ cup chopped cilantro (26g)
½ green bell pepper, cored and chopped
½ red bell pepper, cored and chopped
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced into a pulp
3 tbsp. mayonnaise (45ml)
3 oz. crumbled queso cotija or feta cheese (85g)
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese (33g)
Juice of 2-3 fresh limes
Salt and pepper to taste.
Chile powder for garnish
Heat the broiler in your oven. Place the ears of corn on a parchment lined baking pan and brush with the olive oil. Place in the heated broiler for 5 minutes. Turn the corn and broil for another 5 minutes. (If you are grilling outdoors, you can also roast the bbq grill.) Once the corn is roasted, remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.
Carefully slice the kernels away from the cob. Place the kernels in a large mixing bowl. Add the onions, cilantro, bell peppers, garlic pulp, and mayonnaise. Toss to combine well. Add the cheeses and lime juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss the salad again to combine well. Serve chilled or room temperature garnished with chile powder.