August 11, 2014

Elotes Kalamata

Posted in: Mediterranean Diet

The end of summer will always have a bit of a portentous feel to it. Perhaps it’s just a lingering feeling from so many years of summer vacations ending and school beginning again, despite the fact that, as an adult those vacation days don’t stretch quite as long. The Labor Day barbecue is one last hurrah and farewell to summer, and from a culinary standpoint, one last chance to use some of those great seasonal fruits and veggies that won’t taste quite as good until next year.

While corn is a perennial and ubiquitous fact of life in America, those huge, sweet ears of a summer farmer’s market may as well be a different species from the pale, shriveled variety you’ll find through the winter. It’s probably a safe assumption that corn will be appearing in some form on more than a few Labor Day menus this weekend.  My favorite way to prepare corn, (and among the easiest) is in the style of Mexican street corn; roasted or grilled in husk and then slathered with mayo or sour cream and topped with Cotija cheese, chili powder, and a squeeze of lime juice.

If any proof is needed that this is an excellent way to cook and dress corn, it is that the recipe doesn’t even have a formal name– in Mexico it is referred to as “elote”, which in Nahuatl means simply “corn on the cob”.

In this (slightly) different version of the classic, we substituted Divina Kalamata spread for mayo and Feta for Cotija cheese, putting a flavorful Greek twist on the Mexican classic. The mild smokiness of the Kalamata spread was a surprisingly charming match with the sweetness of the corn and the spice of the chili powder. Happy Labor Day, make summer's last cook-out a good one!

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup Divina Kalamata Spread
  • 1/2 cup finely crumbled cotija or feta cheese

  • 1/2 tsp ancho or guajillo chili powder

  • 4 ears shucked corn

  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

Directions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.

  2. Place corn (in husks) in the oven and cook for 35 minutes

  3. Remove corn from oven, peel back husks and use a butter knife to coat all sides of the with Kalamata spread.

  4. Sprinkle with extra cheese and chili powder and serve immediately with lime wedges.

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