Our line cooks are the backbone of our kitchens—and a great source of inspiration. Since corn, while not commonly eaten in Spain, is so plentiful and delicious in North America in the summer, we wanted to find a way to feature it on the menu. We couldn’t look to Spain for inspiration, so we looked to some of our line cooks and drew inspiration from their Mexican heritage. We give the classic Mexican combination of corn with ground chilies, queso fresco, and lime a Spanish spin by swapping Manchego for the queso fresco and adding hot pimentón instead of ground chilies. Smoky and spicy, creamy and bright, this is an irresistible dish that flies off our market menu all summer.
YIELD 2–4 servings
ACTIVE TIME 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME 25 minutes
3 ears of corn, husks and silk removed
1 teaspoon hot pimentón (smoked paprika)
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 ounce aged Manchego cheese
Maldon sea salt
Heat a grill to high. (As an alternative, you could use a rack set over a gas burner.)
Trim the top and bottom off the lime. Remove and reserve the zest. Slice between the membranes to release the lime segments. Reserve in a large bowl. Grill the corn, turning to char evenly, until dark brown all over and tender, about 5 minutes. When cool enough to handle, cut the kernels off the cobs. Transfer to the bowl containing the lime segments and toss until well mixed. Divide among serving dishes.
Mix the pimentón and oil in a small bowl and drizzle all over the corn. Shave the cheese directly over the corn mixture with a microplane, then sprinkle the lime zest on top. Sprinkle with Maldon salt and serve immediately.
If you don’t want to grill the corn, you can turn it over the open flames of a gas burner until blackened and charred.