This Israeli-Inspired Corn Is Everything

Sweet summer corn gets an Israeli makeover.

Sweet, fresh corn is one of the joys of summer, and one of my favorite things to do is grill it and serve it in the style of Mexican street corn, also known as elotes.

Elotes are traditional Mexican grilled street corn that gets roasted over an open fire and then rolled and covered in a mixture of crema (like Mexican sour cream), lime juice, chile powder, and cotija cheese. In this recipe, I’ve reimagined it Israeli style: cooling labneh stands in for crema, parsley takes the place of cilantro, za’atar adds spice, and it all gets rolled in salty feta.

Corn for elotes can be grilled with or without its husk. Keeping it on protects the corn from burning and tenderly steams it while simultaneously allowing smoky flavor to permeate the kernels. Removing it allows the corn to develop a beautiful, caramelized char. So choose your own adventure! Whether grilling with husk or without, it’s important to remove the corn silk, as that can easily catch fire.

This corn couldn’t be easier to make. Set a table with a platter of grilled corn and set out little bowls of the labneh cream, feta, and lime wedges to let everyone assemble their own. Or, if you’re feeling fancy, shuck the grilled corn and serve it in little bowls and cups, topping each serving individually.

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Photo credit Chaya Rappoport

Israeli-Inspired Elote

An Israeli twist on grilled Mexican corn that’s ready in minutes.

  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 4 ears corn, husks left on
  • ¼ cup labneh (or Greek yogurt)
  • ¼ mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley + extra for topping
  • juice of ½ a lime
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp za’atar + more for sprinkling
  • cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 lime, cut into 8 wedges

Instructions

  1. Prepare a grill for medium-high heat.
  2. Gently pull back husks from each cob, leaving them attached at the bottom of cobs. Carefully remove corn silks from cobs. Then pull the husk back into place.
  3. Grill corn over medium-high heat, turning frequently until the husks are charred and beginning to shrivel and corn is tender, about 10 minutes. To grill corn without husks, simply place the cobs of corn directly over a high heat and grill, turning occasionally, until they’re charred and cooked through, about 10-12 minutes.
  4. While the corn is grilling, make the labneh cream. Combine the labneh, mayonnaise, chopped parsley, lime juice, sea salt, cayenne pepper and za’atar in a bowl and mix until well combined. Set aside until needed.
  5. When corn is ready, remove from the grill. Pull the husks away from corn to expose the kernels and slather each cob with the labneh cream.
  6. Top with crumbled feta cheese, sprinkle with za’atar and cayenne, and finish with more chopped parsley. Serve with lime wedges.
  • Author: Chaya Rappoport
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: Israeli

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