elote, or mexican corn-on-the-cob

I’m used to a summer that lasts until Halloween, not this chilly hybrid fall that’s sneaking into the first part of September. I was just getting used to living without air conditioning and now – you’re telling me – I don’t need that second box fan I bought three weeks ago? Rain boots were in order this afternoon, but Saturday could be picnic weather again (crossing fingers). In the markets, squashes are already here, but the last crops of corn and tomatoes are still holding out. It’s surprising me. Experiencing a real fall for the first time, I predict, will be magical.

But for now. I’m still pulling mind tricks and dragging summer along with me as far as I can. So I made this corn today, which I’ve been making in various forms all summer. The traditional version is made with melted butter and mayonnaise – and I’m sure it’s very good except that I cannot stand mayonnaise. So here we are. This is a very forgiving technique. Grill your corn, roast it or broil it. Use a lemon or a lime. Exchange the cilantro for basil or, better yet, mint! Chop a bit of jalepeno and whisk it into the vinaigrette.  Don’t have queso fresco? Try feta or goat cheese or cotija or even parmesan. Sub sour cream (or mayo if you’re not me) for the yogurt. Whatever you do, make it before the summer disappears.

Elote, or Mexican corn-on-the-cob
inspired by traditional elote

4 ears of corn
3 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs yogurt
juice and zest from 1 lemon
small handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
2 Tbs queso fresco, crumbled
salt and pepper to taste

Shuck the corn and soak in cold water for 20 minutes – don’t skip this step! It makes the corn very juicy. Meanwhile, whisk together the olive oil with yogurt, citrus zest and juice, herbs, and salt and pepper. Heat your broiler (or grill) and cook the corn, turning to roast all sides, about 10 minutes or until they start to color or char. Remove from the heat and brush the lemon vinaigrette on all sides. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and serve immediately.

About Karen

Texas transplant


  1. I remember you making this recipe for us last June, the day we were all working in the garden. That was the day that Kaya ate part of your brisket. Ha!

    Martha still talks about that corn. I will make some this weekend.

    What beautiful pictures. I especially like that blue plate.

    Love and hugs, Missy.

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