Vegan elote with spicy mayo and pine nut “cotija cheese” is so much more than your average corn on the cob.
Summer may be wrapping up, but that doesn’t mean your backyard BBQ habit needs to. Specifically when it comes to devouring creamy, spicy grilled corn. Corn is at its peak freshness right now, which means this seasonal and oh-so-delicious vegan elote shouldn’t be missed. Because let’s be honest…messy, creamy and spicy corn is the very BEST kind!
Topped with Cholula-laced mayo, lime juice, cilantro and pine nut “cotija cheese,” this delectable riff off of one of Mexico’s most beloved street foods is all about devouring peak-season corn. And since there’s no neat and tidy way to eat elote — PROTIP — get cozy with a stack of napkins. You’re gonna need ’em when you’re done!
Topped with a healthy drizzle of smoky, spicy mayo, this reimagined, vegan elote gets an umami boost from the pine nut “cotija cheese.” Naturally high in oil, pine nuts give the “cheese” a rich, buttery flavor and texture. Sprinkled on top, it’s the perfect amount of salty, buttery, tangy and delicious.
Loaded up with rich and delicious toppings, this vegan elote is my latest guilty pleasure. Let it be yours too!
Looking for more recipes that feature sweet, crisp summer corn? Check out this one here!
- 6 ears corn
- 1 tsp salt
- olive oil, to coat
- 2 limes, cut into wedges
- spicy mayo
- pine nut cotija cheese
- handful of cilantro stems removed and roughly chopped
- ½ cup pine nuts
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Preheat a grill pan or a grill on medium-high.
- Cut 6, even pieces of bakers twine (about 8 inches) and place in a bowl of water to soak. Set aside.
- Remove outer husks from the corn and slowly peel back inner husks one at a time to expose the corn kernels. Tie husks tightly with moistened twine to hold the husks in place. Cut off excess twine as needed and be sure to remove the silks as well.
- Soak the corn in a large bowl of cool, salted water (add 1 tsp salt to water and submerge the corn as much as possible) for about 5 minutes. Prepare the spicy mayo and pine nut “cotija cheese” while waiting.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk all spicy mayo ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Using a small food processor or high-speed blender, add all pine nut “cotija cheese” ingredients, and pulse several times until ingredients are blended and “cheese” resembles a fine meal. Set aside.
- Remove corn from cool water and lightly pat dry with a clean towel to remove excess water.
- Lightly coat each ear with olive oil and place on grill or grill pan. Cook for 10-15 minutes turning occasionally until kernels are cooked, lightly charred and yummy. (You’ll want to look for either a bright yellow or more of a translucent color if you are cooking with white corn.)
- Remove corn from the grill. Serve vegan elote on a platter. Squeeze lime juice over the top, followed by a healthy drizzle of spicy mayo, a few sprinkles of pine nut “cotija cheese” and chopped cilantro.