A street corn kale salad is light, refreshing and totally delicious. Inspired by Mexican elote, this recipe boasts a rich variety of colours and textures in every mouthful. Mix it all together, and you have a fiesta of flavours in your mouth! You will LOVE this Mexican elote street corn kale salad with spicy yogurt lime dressing. It is a great Mexican inspired salad and one to test out of you are looking for a new kale salad recipe. Who else is already craving this!?!
You can use your choice of curly kale or another variety you prefer. It’s possible to make it heartier with the addition of spiced grilled chicken or another protein. Alternatively this Mexican kale salad recipe is great just as it is. The ingredients in this Mexican inspired salad include fresh corn, kale, queso fresco or cotija cheese, lime juice, and cilantro. In addition, there is a spicy yogurt lime dressing to bind all the flavour together beautifully. The dressing combines Greek yogurt with garlic, chilli and lime. It goes so well with this street corn kale salad, complementing it so well.
Whether you’ve made a recipe with cotija cheese before or not, you will love this one. If you really can’t find Mexican cheese where you are, the closest substitute would probably be feta. The mouth-watering Mexican flavours are apparent in every bite, and you’ll want to make this more than once for sure.
What is Mexican Elote?
Mexican elote is another way of saying Mexican street corn, and it’s a key part of this south of the border kale salad recipe. Elote (pronounced eh-LOH-tay) is Mexican for ear of corn, but there’s more to it than that. Steamed or boiled corn would work at a pinch, but grilled corn is the best for this recipe with cotija cheese.
Once the corn is done, you can slather it with mayonnaise, lime, and chilli. The next step in making elote is to coat it in Mexican cheese. In this recipe for street corn kale salad however, the flavours of the corn are instead used to make the dressing. You will get all the same flavours in this Mexican inspired salad.
Elote is often sold as a street snack in Mexico, just like Montreal style hot dogs or poutine are here. It’s incredibly popular there. Corn has a naturally sweet flavour, which everyone seems to love. It goes so well with the spicy yogurt lime dressing too.
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How to Make a Street Corn Kale Salad
This Mexican inspired salad is so good. It’s easy to make too. The important thing is to use fresh ears of corn, since that’s the main ingredient. It’s well worth the effort to make.
You need to grill the corn until it’s a little charred, for maximum flavour. While it is cooking you can make the spicy yogurt lime dressing by combining the dressing ingredients. Add a little water a spoon at a time until it’s a good consistency. Everyone is a fan of Mexican street style corn.
When the corn is cut, cut off the kernels you will need to make this kale salad recipe. The corn kernels, dressing and kale are combined with the cheese and cilantro. Add some avocado for a creamy texture plus the contrasting taste of pickled red onion. One bite of this recipe with cotija cheese will transport your spirit to a vibrant Mexican beach!
Why Do You Massage Kale?
You will see that the Mexican elote salad instructions call for massaging the kale. Why is this? The purpose is actually twofold. First, massaging the kale helps break down some of the tough fibres in it. This makes it tenderer and easier to chew.
The second reason is to infuse it with the flavour of the lime juice. If you’re using baby kale, it’s already tender but massage it anyway, to infuse it with lime flavour.
How to Serve this Kale Salad Recipe
There are different ways you can serve this street corn kale salad. Enjoy it as a side dish with grilled or fried chicken or steak. The spicy yogurt lime dressing will also complement the meat. You can enjoy this Mexican inspired salad by itself. In fact, it makes a wonderful meat for vegetarians.
What is Cotija Cheese?
Use either cotija cheese or queso fresco to make street corn kale salad. You can usually use queso fresco in a recipe with cotija cheese, although there are differences. Cotija is a cow’s milk cheese which is white, crumbly and firm. It is aged for a salty flavour, so most recipes won’t need much cotija in there. It’s more of a garnish since the taste is pretty bold.
Queso fresco, on the other hand, has a softer taste. It’s made from either cow’s milk or goat’s milk and is only aged for a few days. If you’re using this, you can use a little more than if you are using cotija.
Mexican Elote Street Corn Kale Salad Recipe
Mexican Elote Street Corn Kale Salad with Spicy Yogurt Lime Dressing
- 4 Ears corn shucked
- 1/2 Cup Greek yogurt
- 1 Clove garlic minced
- 1 Tsp. chili powder
- 1 lime Zest and juice used separately as detailed
- 1 Tbsp. water or more as needed
- 6 Cup kale baby
- 1 Tsp. salt
- 1/3 Cup queso fresco crumbled
- 1/2 Cup cilantro leaves
- 1 avocado thinly sliced
- 1/2 red onion pickled
- Preheat grill to medium high heat. Wrap each ear of corn in foil and place directly on the grill grates. Grill, rotating every 8 to10 minutes, until corn begins to char (about 30 minutes). When corn is cool enough to handle, carefully cut the kernels from the cobs.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together Greek yogurt, garlic, chili powder, lime zest and ½ of the lime juice. Add water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until salad dressing consistency is achieved.
- In a large bowl combine kale, salt and remaining lime juice. Gently massage the kale for 15 seconds to soften.
- To assemble the salad, toss together massaged kale, corn, dressing, queso fresco, and cilantro. Serve immediately with sliced avocado and pickled red onion.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
Let me know if you make this Mexican elote street corn kale salad with spicy yogurt lime dressing. It is a great Mexican inspired salad and one to test out of you are looking for a new kale salad recipe. If you are a fan of elote, you might also like Elote Mexican Street Corn Nachos with Zesty Cheese Sauce.