This pecorino basil pesto corn is an incredible combination of spicy basil with a creamy mixture of mayonnaise and Pecorino, complementing the sweet oven-baked corn on the cob.
Street Corn at Home
Turn regular corn into a fabulous side dish. There is nothing like fresh sweet corn, and what is a better way than the popular street food found on the streets of Mexico City? Mexican Elote.
This sweet summer corn dish is inspired by an American favorite using corn cobs in a creamy sauce and crumbly cheese with an Italian flair. This is a great side dish that goes well with my chicken cutlet recipe, which will be posted next week, subscribe for the recipe!
In addition, the creamy mayo sauce is super easy to make. You'll be making this every week for your little cravings! Since you can eat this on its own or with wings, a veggie burger, or even care asada tacos! It's up to you.
For the ultimate combination, serve it with the Spicy Chicken Burger with Harissa Eggplant Portabella Mushrooms and Onions.
Check out my homemade basil pesto recipe with a kick of chili peppers. Use it to make the Italian Chicken Sausage Stuffed with Portobello Mushrooms. And for a quick one-pot meal, it is in the Spicy Pesto Chicken Pasta.
After you have soaked your skewers, set your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the skewered corn on each square-foot piece of aluminum foil, rub them with olive oil and salt, and wrap them up. Bake for 30 minutes, and then let them rest. Make the spicy basil pesto mayo while they are cooling down just a little. Combine the spicy basil pesto, red pepper chili flakes, and mayonnaise in a small bowl. Super easy, right!? Brush it onto the corn on the cobs and dust with grated pecorino romano cheese and smoked paprika powder. For that extra flavor kick, serve with a lemon wedge to squeeze on. So good!
See the pecorino basil pesto corn recipe card for quantities.
Brush the skewered corn on the cob with olive oil and season with salt.
Place the corn in the middle of the 1-foot foil paper, pointing towards the upper right corner. Then, fold the upper right corner over it.
Fold over the left side of the foil over the corn and roll to wrap tightly. Then, seal the foil around the bottom of the skewer.
Place on a sheet pan with a rack and place in the preheated oven.
Combine the ingredients for the spicy basil pesto mayo.
Gently brush the mayo all over the corn.
Brush on the grated Italian cheese blend and smoked paprika.
Serve the oven-baked pecorino basil pesto corn on the cob with a fresh lemon.
Busy Folks - Become a better home cook with cooking tips to help you cook more efficiently on Cook's Notebook tab.
- Spicy Basil Pesto - If you can't find this in stores, there is the option to make it yourself using my Spicy Pesto Basil Recipe. If not, just use regular basil pesto and add more red pepper chili flakes to your preferred heat level.
- Pecorino Romano Cheese - Use grated parmesan or Italian cheese blend. This cheese blend tends to be a combination of grated parmesan and pecorino romano cheese. However, you can interchangeably use just one of those. Or you can grate a block of the cheese yourself using a microplane, box grater, or food processor. Learn more ways to use a microplane, like zesting.
- Non-Dairy - Try using NOOCH IT! Cashew Grated Cheese and Chosen Foods Classic Vegan Avocado Oil-Based Mayonnaise.
Change Heat Level - Modify the pecorino basil pesto corn recipe's heat level to your liking and learn more about the Scoville Scale and Chili Pairings.
- Oven-Baked - Try air frying it without the skewers at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes in the air fryer. Or enjoy grilled corn on medium-high heat for about 20-25 minutes on the grill.
- Smoke Heat - Replace the regular mayonnaise with chipotle mayo and the smoked paprika with chili powder and serve with lime wedges instead of lemon.
- Mexican Street Corn Salad Inspiration - Slice the corn kernels into a bowl after baking them. Combine one part of sour cream or Mexican cream with the mayo mixture in the recipe, with the cheese and smoked paprika, and squeeze in the lemon juice.
- Bamboo Skewers - You can use short 7-inch skewers like the Gere Thick Skewers for Corn Cob. But I cut long bamboo in half using kitchen shears, like the OXO Good Grips Multi-Purpose Kitchen and Herb Scissors. Specifically kitchen shears, since they have this feature with holes to cut stems and skewers.
- Aluminum Foil - These will be cut into 1-foot squares to wrap them for baking. This helps create steam faster and keeps the oil and seasoning on the corn.
- Sheet Pan - I prefer using the sheet pan with a rack, allowing hot air to cook the corn evenly. But you can just use the sheet pan or a large enough baking dish.
- Pastry Brush - Try using a silicone brush. They are easier to clean, like the OXO Good Grips Silicone Basting & Pastry Brush, with no bristle debris on food.
Kitchen Must Haves - Find other tools I use here.
- Refrigerator - To store in the fridge, you can place the pecorino basil pesto corn in a shallow 2-inch container to cool down quickly. Then, store it in an airtight container. As a result, the meal will last up to two days.
- Freezer - I do not recommend freezing the finished product. But you can freeze cooked corn. Cool down completely, wrap it in parchment, then place it in the freezer in a labeled, resealable freezer bag.
Air Tight Food Containers - I use Glass Food Storage Containers with a plastic clipping lid to store food. For example, I always suggest glass storage containers since you can microwave them and hold food without staining the container, and the glass keeps them at a more stable temperature, which keeps the food fresher longer.
- Soak Bamboo Skewers - If you use these wooden skewers, ensure to soak them for at least 30 minutes before using them.
- Italian Cheese Blend Recommendation - Locatelli's Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese is a highly recommended house favorite.
Frequently Asked Questions
Both are hard Italian cheeses, but Parmesan, an older cheese, is made with cow's milk, while Pecorino Romano, a younger cheese, is made from sheep's. Both can be shaved, shredded, or grated.
Side Dish Ideas
Looking for other side dish idea recipes like this? Try these:
Looking for other vegetarian recipes like this? Try these:
- Cook chicken to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C).
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat to prevent foodborne illness from contaminated uncooked meats.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat to prevent cross-contamination.
- Don't leave food at room temperature for extended periods; this can breed bacteria.
- Never leave cooking food unattended to prevent burns and fires.
- Use oils with a high smoke point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
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