Mexican Street Corn Salad
Today is Labor Day, and some might see this as the end of summer. School will be back in full swing tomorrow, this is the last day of the Minnesota State Fair, and the temperature will begin to cool down. But summer is not over yet – so make the best of it while it lasts!
To keep me in a summer mind set, I made a Mexican street corn salad that is full of bright, summertime flavors. I’ll confess, I’ve never been to Mexico, and I’ve never had Mexican street corn; but it is something I’ve wanted to make for a long time. As my first introduction to the dish, I decided to make a salad version of it. It’s not the most authentic adaptation, but it is delicious!
To get started with this recipe, I made the dressing. When the corn is served on the cob, it is coated with a mixture very similar to the dressing for this salad. I combined mayo, cilantro, garlic, red onion, chili powder, diced jalapeno (I used home-grown salsa peppers), and lime juice.
Typically, Mexican street corn uses Cotija cheese, which is similar to Feta. I have made this with both cotija and queso fresco, and I do prefer the dish with cotija. The saltiness really works well with the rest of the ingredients. Cotija is sold either in a solid disk shape that you will need to crumble, or I can sometimes find it pre-crumbled (or in a can like the green Parmesan cheese containers).
Once the dressing was mixed up and the cheese crumbled, I got started on the corn. If you have fresh corn on the cob, you’ll need about 3-4 cups. I opted for frozen corn for ease of making the dish. The corn was sauteed in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until it was slightly browned and had a roasted quality to it.
The last step was to mix it all together. I let my corn cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan, and then combined the corn and dressing. After letting it rest a minute or two, I added in the cotija, and mixed it until combined. There was a nice contrast between the warm corn, the cool cheese, and just a little heat from the dressing.
This salad is a breeze to make, and is the perfect side for any tex-mex dish you create! So whip this up while summer is still in the air, and enjoy!