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5 Ways to Celebrate Corn Season + A Recipe for Mexican Street Corn Salad

5 Ways to Celebrate Corn Season + A Recipe for Mexican Street Corn Salad

Words Heather Ramsdell

Corn on the cob is one of summer’s best treats.

Whether grilled, boiled or raw, sweet corn has endless possibilities for serving. Here are five ways to celebrate corn season:

mexican street corn salad

Make Cornbread

Stud your favorite cornbread recipe with a cup of sweet, chewy, juicy corn kernels to lend substance and interest.

Keep it Simple

In the summer of my seventh year, I lost both of my front teeth and had to take a break from corn on the cob. This is the year I fell in love with corn off the cob. Eating pre-shaved kernels with a spoon made for uninterrupted corn enjoyment. I still prefer to do all of the work ahead of time and pile sweet kernels with salted butter into the center of my plate.

Never Stop Souping

Summer is no reason to stop eating soup. Especially when every store, farm market and roadside stand is piled with fresh corn for a great price. When it’s corn season, make a pot of sweet, creamy corn chowder as part of your weekly meal prep.

Corn Casserole

Throw together a creamy, cheesy corn casserole, and serve it whenever you’d serve mac and cheese. You can personalize a corn casserole endlessly by adding herbs, thickening with cream cheese, spicing it up with poblano peppers, or adding cubed zucchini and scallions.

Esquites

Esquites vendors in Mexico cook corn kernels in flavorful simmering broth in a big pot and then spoon it into a cup, and top it with some of the broth. People add creamy, tangy and spicy extras as it pleases them. This adaptation of the recipe (below) toasts the kernels in a hot skillet, and mixes it with some grated cotija cheese (feta works as a substitute), fragrant cilantro, tangy lime and a little mayonnaise for creaminess.

Esquites (Warm Mexican-Inspired Corn Salad)

Recipe courtesy Heather Ramsdell: Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

4 ears corn, shucked

1 tablespoon vegetable oil or butter

1 lime

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

¼ cup crumbled cotija cheese or queso fresco

¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped, plus a few leaves for topping

¼ jalapeño pepper, finely minced about 1 teaspoon

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground ancho pepper or red chili flakes

Kosher salt, to taste

Hot sauce, for serving

Instructions

  1. Shave the kernels off of the corn.
  2. Preheat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil or butter and corn kernels and cook, without stirring, until they smell toasty, and turn golden brown in spots, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir and toast some more, without stirring, another 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and stir in 1 or 2 tablespoons water to loosen.
  3. Juice half of the lime over the corn. Cut the other lime-half into wedges and set aside. Stir the mayonnaise into the corn with half of the cotija, most of the cilantro, the minced jalapeño , and the chili. Season to taste with salt. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro, and cotija and serve warm in cups with lime wedges.

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    Carla Jessee

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