Ok I may be jumping the gun just a bit thinking of corn when it isn’t even officially spring yet. But Spring is just around the corner and with the change of seasons comes warmer weather which in my mind means more salads for days when it’s too hot to turn on the oven and getting outdoors for BBQs. This delicious and easy to make roasted corn salad is perfect for both!Yum
The origins of street corn salad
Corn, also called maize, originated in Mexico over 9,000 years ago so it’s no wonder that it appears at the heart of many Mexican dishes. To make this roasted corn salad, I took inspiration from the famous Mexican street corn recipes, elote and esquites. Elote is usually corn on the cob served on a stick. The corn is typically grilled giving it some char and then it is slathered in a chili-lime flavored mayonnaise and coated with cojita cheese. The esquites is almost the same except the corn is cut off the cob and served as a street corn salad instead.
In this recipe for roasted corn salad, the corn is roasted in the oven before tossing it with all the other ingredients. Roasting the corn develops the flavor of the corn more and also works to give the corn some browning that you’d expect if cooking it on a grill.
Eating corn, is it healthy?
We demonize so much food. I believe corn (along with potatoes) are a vegetable that has been beat up so much and many people avoid it 100% of the time and miss out on its deliciousness. It is possible for corn to be a part of a healthy balanced diet. The keyword here is balanced meaning that you are eating a variety of different foods and colors thus providing your body with a variety of the nutrients it needs.
Here’s a snapshot of corn nutrition:
Corn is a rich in fiber which promotes healthy digestion and may prevent diverticular disease.
This vegetable contains two carotenoids which have antioxidant benefit which may protect your eyes and promote eye health.
Corn is also a source of vitamin C, B vitamins (thiamin and folate), magnesium and potassium.
Concerns about corn
One of the reasons why corn is avoided by so many people is that it does cause a higher spike in blood sugar than other foods. This issue may make it a vegetable that should be avoided by those with diabetes or other blood sugar concerns. Make sure you talk to your doctor to see if it is possible to fit it in before eating it. But for those without these concerns, it is possible for corn to be a part of a healthy balanced diet.
The other major issue about corn is around the myth that all corn you buy in the store is genetically modified. This simply isn’t true. The corn that is GMO is the corn used to manufacture high fructose corn syrup and other products, not the corn typically sold as corn on the cob. There is some GMO sweet corn out there so if you aren’t sure about the corn in your grocery store and are concerned, consider buying organic corn as an alternative.
Buying your corn
This dish ideally works best with fresh corn, though if you can’t find fresh the best substitute is frozen corn. You can even cook the corn from a frozen state. Simply toss the frozen corn in the oil and then spread it on the sheet pan. And continue along with the recipe as directed. Just note that you may need to extend the cooking time a bit.
If you are buying fresh corn on the cob, here are some tips:
- Check the outside of the corn first. The husk should be green and tight around the cob of corn. The corn silks, those hairy pieces that stick out of the husk on the narrow end of the corn should be brown and feel slightly moist to the touch. If the corn husk or the hairs are dry, then the corn isn’t so fresh.
- I also suggest pulling down the sides a bit to make sure the end isn’t missing a ton of kernels or has brown kernels.
- Corn is often available year around, but its season is around the summer months making the best time to buy fresh corn, May – September.
Serving ideas for this recipe
The beauty of this roasted corn salad is that its simplicity, easy preparation and great flavor make it the perfect add-on to many different meals or dishes!
- This summer salad is perfect to take along to any large food gathering. People are sure to enjoy the creamy delicious flavors of street corn salad and I’m sure it will disappear quickly.
- It’s a perfect topping to jazz up your nachos. Melt the cheese first on your chips and then pile on the roasted corn salad.
- Serve it up as a summer, cold side dish. It works well alongside tacos, burgers, sandwiches and more.
- Use it as a flavor booster for a salad. Pile it top of greens and then add your favorite black or pinto beans and assorted veggie toppings.
Prep this recipe
This dish is great to meal prep and use throughout the week. Mix up a batch and take it along with you to work as a side dish or as part of a main meal. Once mixed, the salad will likely last up to five days, but I think that it is at its freshest and best in the first three days.
Can you freeze this recipe?
This recipe is not freezer friendly. Mayonnaise and dairy don’t tend to do all that well in the freezer. However, you can freeze the corn so if you wanted to buy fresh corn you could cook it in the oven (step 1) and after cooling it place it in the freezer for later. When you want to make the salad, simply thaw out the corn, drain any additional liquid it may have accumulated in the freezer and then mix it in with the other ingredients.
Quick and easy Mexican roasted corn salad
- 2 cups corn kernels fresh or frozen
- 1 tsp olive oil
- ¼ cup Cojita cheese or substitute grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 T mayonnaise
- 1 T fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
- ¼ cup red onion diced
- 1 ½ tsp chili powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Toss corn kernels with olive oil, spread on sheet pan and place in oven. Cook for 20 minutes stirring at several intervals so corn browns more evenly.
- When ready, remove corn from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
- Mix together the parmesan cheese and cilantro.
- When corn is slightly cooled, combine corn with yogurt, mayo, lime juice, red onion and chili powder. Add half of the cheese mixture to corn and stir to combine.
- Put into serving bowl and sprinkle the remaining cheese and cilantro on top.
- Serve warm or room temperature.
Did you make this recipe? I want to hear about your experience so leave me a comment below and tell me all about it! If you enjoyed cooking and eating this roasted corn salad, be sure to give it a 5-star rating in the recipe card. Tag @cookeatlivelove with your dish and summer bbq photo so I can see your creations.