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Cauliflower and Corn Esquites

Recipe for an appetizer made with cauliflower and corn

You can find this recipe at El Restaurante

Recipe and photo courtesy of Chef Ariel Fox; reprinted with permission from Spice Kitchen: Healthy Latin & Caribbean Cuisine

Makes 4 servings

The Vegetables:

1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets

2 T. coconut or avocado oil

½ t. salt

½ t. chile de .rbol powder

2 ears fresh corn, husked

1 T. coconut or avocado oil

The Chile Cream Sauce:

¼ c. mayonnaise (made with olive oil or vegan mayo)

¼ c. Plain Cashew Crema (recipe below)

½ t. chile de árbol powder

1 t. adobo sauce (from canned chipotle chiles)

1 clove garlic

1 T. lime juice

1 t. minced fresh dill

¼ t. sea salt

For Assembling:

Crumbled cotija cheese

Chopped fresh cilantro

Lime wedges

  Preheat the oven to 400°F.

     Prepare the vegetables: On a baking sheet, toss the cauliflower florets with the 2 tablespoons coconut oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon chile powder. Spread the florets out evenly. Bake the cauliflower for 35 to 40 minutes until tender and beginning to char and caramelize in spots. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and allow to cool while preparing the corn. Once cool, chop cauliflower into “kernels” the same size as the corn. Transfer to a medium bowl. While the vegetables are baking, prepare the Chile Cream Sauce.

     Combine mayo, Cashew Crema, chile de árbol powder, adobo sauce, garlic, lime juice, dill, and salt in a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth. Scoop out into a bowl and set aside.

     Rub the corn cobs all over with just enough oil to coat. Heat a cast-iron grill pan over medium-high heat.

     Grill the corn cobs, turning frequently, until the corn kernels are cooked and charred slightly on the outside. Remove the corn from the pan and allow to cool. Once cool, cut the corn kernels off the cob and mix them with the cauliflower.

     Heat a medium-size sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add a teaspoon of avocado oil to the pan. Add the cauliflower and corn kernel mix and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until heated through. Add half the Chile Cream Sauce to the pan and toss a few times, just enough to incorporate. Immediately remove from heat and spoon the mix onto a serving platter. Drizzle the remaining Chile Cream Sauce over the top of the cauliflower and corn in a zigzag pattern. Sprinkle with cotija cheese (optional), and garnish with freshly chopped cilantro. Surround the platter with lime wedges for squeezing over the top.

The Cashew Crema

Makes 1 cup

1 c. raw cashews

½ c. filtered water

Place cashews and water in a high-powered blender. Blend on high until completely smooth.


El Restaurante

El Restaurante magazine was founded in 1997, and is read by over 25,000 owners and managers of Mexican and Latin restaurants in the United States. The magazine is published five times per year by Maiden Name Press, LLC in Chicago, Illinois.

El Restaurante also publishes a monthly e-newsletter, eMex, and maintains the popular website

El Restaurante is edited by Kathleen Furore, a veteran journalist. She has been the editor since the magazine was founded. Kathleen can be reached at 708-267-0023 or

For advertising information, please contact publisher Ed Avis at or 708-218-7755.


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