Appetizer Recipes

Harissa Elote

If you want to be the life of literally any party, bring a tray of elote. It’s super easy to make and always a hit. Who can say no to grilled corn coated in creamy mayo and salty cotija crumbles? (No one, that’s who.)

Here, we lace the mayo with harissa and lime juice. It’s a veer from the traditional Mexican recipe, true. But the Maghrebin red chile paste gives the sweet corn a gentle, earthy heat — they taste like they were made for each other. Finished with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro, green onion, and lime zest, it’s completely, utterly irresistible. True story, one of our tasters was so into it, they ate a whole cob without breathing.

A few tips from our resident harissa elote superfan: Do yourself a favor and make a double batch right off the bat. Keep extra harissa mayo and cheese crumbles on hand, so you can continue adding them as you gnaw your way down the cob. And finally, no matter how smashable this elote is, please remember to breathe as you eat!

Harissa Elote



Harissa Elote

Serves: 4


½ cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp harissa sauce
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 garlic clove, finely grated
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground Gelson’s black pepper, to taste
4 ears corn, husked
Gelson’s 100% California extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
1 cup crumbled cotija cheese
Zest from 2 limes, for garnish
Thinly sliced green onion, for garnish
Roughly chopped cilantro, for garnish


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, harissa, lime juice, and garlic. Season with salt and black pepper. Set aside.

  2. Preheat a grill to high heat. Lightly brush the corn with olive oil and season with salt and black pepper.

  3. Place the corn on the grill and cover. Cook, turning occasionally, until tender and well charred, about 12 minutes. Transfer the corn to a serving platter.

  4. Brush the harissa aioli all over the corn. Scatter the cotija on a shallow plate and roll the corn in it to coat.

  5. Garnish with the lime zest, sliced green onion, and cilantro. Enjoy!

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