Nothing says “It’s Summer!!” like sweet ears of corn charred with grill marks. I’ve long been a fan of squeezing lime over my corn; the acid of the lime highlights the sweetness of the corn. You don’t even need butter! (Not that I don’t love a good ear of corn slathered in butter and sprinkled with salt.)
I’ve also been a longtime fan of elotes, or Mexican Street Corn. You know those corncobs on a stick that have been grilled then spread with a mayo-crema-chili-cilantro mixture and coated with crumbled cotija cheese? Helllloooooo. Yum!
You might have figured out by now that I really love grilled corn-on-the-cob, just about any way you serve it. But sometimes you get tired of having the same thing, so I came up with a fun Mexican-style twist on pesto that can be slathered all over succulent grilled corn and then eaten with gusto.
Enter cilantro-lime-toasted almond pesto. I swear I could just get a spoon and eat it straight from the bowl. It’s soooo good. It’s salty and earthy and tangy and the perfect counterpoint to sweet corn. But don’t stop there. You can toss it with some cooked pasta or spoon it onto thick slices of grilled bread with chopped cherry tomatoes.
Recipe: Grilled Corn-On-The-Cob with Lime-Cilantro Pesto
For the Pesto:
- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
- Zest and juice of 1 large lime
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Queso fresco or feta cheese, crumbled, for garnish
- Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct heat grilling. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. While you are waiting for the water to boil, make the pesto.
- In a food processor, with the processor on, drop the garlic clove through the feed tube to chop. Add the cilantro, almonds, lime zest and juice, and a pinch of kosher salt and pulse until finely chopped, scraping down the sides. Turn the processor on and slowly add the olive oil through the feed tube. Spoon the pesto into a bowl and set aside. (The pesto can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week. It may discolor.)
- Drop the corn into the water and blanch, turning, for 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
- Brush and oil the grill grate. Grill the corn until tender and nicely covered with grill marks, turning often, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
- Spread each ear of corn with some pesto and sprinkle with cheese. Serve right away.