Southwest Summer Corn Salad

By Stacy Mayo-Martinez, Director of Industry Relations

Many countries claim to be the birth place of corn, but one of the strongest cases comes from Mexico. The corn that originated in Mexico doesn’t look like the corn we now grow in Kansas. But because of it being the birthplace of corn, you see many types of corn used in Mexican dishes. Also fun fact number 1, much of the corn that gets exported from Kansas does go to Mexico. The majority of those exports are field corn that will go into cattle feed, but we also export white corn that will be used for tortillas, chips and other forms of cooking. Today’s recipe however features a different type of corn, sweet corn. Fun fact number 2, if you’ve ever seen sweet corn grown next to a field of corn that will go to livestock feed or ethanol, you can first tell the difference in the corn varieties by the height. Sweet corn is usually much shorter. Today’s dish is a based on a Mexican street food delight, elotes. Normally, elotes is served as sweet corn on the cob, but this version takes those flavors into a delicious salad that will be a hit at any get together. The salad also features poblano peppers that are delicious roasted into traditional southwest green chili. Substitutes can be made with canned or frozen veggies if made out of season.

  • 1 dozen sweet corn roasted and taken off the cob
  • 1 pt cheery/grape tomatoes quartered
  • 1/4 c cilantro chopped
  • 2 large poblano peppers (can substitute jalapenos if you like more heat)
  • ½ c chopped green onions
  • 2 cans black beans rinsed and drained
  • 10 oz queso fresco crumble cheese
  • ½ c Mexican crema
  • ½ c sour cream


  • ¾ c olive oil
  • 2 large limes
  • ¼ c red wine vinegar
  • 2 t smoked paprika
  • 1 T roasted garlic sea salt (can use granulated garlic, but not nearly as delicious)
  • 1 t Worcestershire powder or 1 T Worcestershire Sauce
  • Cracked pepper and salt to taste


In a large 4 quart bowl, mix the salad portion, but set ¼ of the cheese aside for crumbling on top before serving. I like to make the salad the night before to let the flavors meld together. If you have a food processor, I also like to take about 1 cup of the corn kernels and pulse them in the food processor to break them down and it makes a delicious flavor and texture to add to the salad. When you are ready to serve, add the dressing then crumble the remaining cheese on the top just before serving. This recipe can also be served as a dip with corn chips if that is more fitting for your crowd. I hope you enjoy this dish and take advantage of fresh summer produce at your next party.