Cilantro-Harissa Grilled Corn

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No, I haven’t fallen off the edge of the earth. I’m just in my hometown for the week… which means visiting lots of family and trying to squeeze in WAY too many activities in a very short time. Activities like our family portrait…:

And activities like cooking and eating together. I’m still talking with my aunt about the dishes we are going to cook together to feature on Como Water, but I can tell you this… they are going to be delicious! Until then, I’ll leave you with an update and some grilled corn :D.

Update… I found an apartment! Woop woop! Thanks for all of your positive energy!

The corn…When I usually grill corn, I make a compound butter with cilantro, chili powder, salt, and pepper. But, in Ann Arbor, when my friend Jose and I didn’t have chili powder, I did what anyone would do in that situation… I used harissa instead! OK… maybe the average person wouldn’t automatically think of using harissa, but it proved to be an incredible substitution. Together, this corn hits sweet, spicy, and fragrant and is super easy to make–a perfect, no-effort summer side dish!

Cilantro-Harissa Grilled Corn (Printable Recipe)


2 cobs of corn

3 tablespoons Earth Balance (or butter)–softened

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 1/2 teaspoons harissa spread

1/2 teaspoon salt

a few grinds black pepper

canola oil


*Preheat grill (If using indoor grill, preheat to medium. If using outdoor grill, corn will go on indirect heat/cooler part of the grill). Pull back corn husks (keep husks in tact). Clean away corn silk.

*In a small bowl, mix softened Earth Balance, cilantro, harissa, salt, and pepper. Smear Earth Balance mixture all over the two corn cobs. Wrap husks around smeared cobs. Rub a small bit of canola oil on the outsider of the corn husks. Grill corn for ~ 10-15 minutes, rotating the corn every 3 minutes. Serve warm with fresh cilantro.

Written by

Tiffany M. Griffin is the woman behind Como Water, Washington DC’s premiere veg-centric cuisine consulting company. Through cooking classes, demonstrations, catering, and consultations, Como Water gives people the opportunity to learn how to prepare veg-centric cuisine that boasts maximum flavor, with minimal effort. Tiffany is quickly becoming a go-to expert on the future of veg-centric cuisine, and is a regular contributor to Como Water, the blog, as well as to vegetarian and vegan sites across the Internet. For over a decade, this self-taught, entrepreneurial expert has developed a set of tried and true techniques for making simple, delicious, and sometimes decadent veg-centric dishes. Featured on the Steve Harvey Show and other leading media outlets, Tiffany was born and raised in Springfield, MA. She then earned Bachelors degrees in Psychology and Communications from Boston College and a PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Michigan. She now resides in Washington DC, where she has worked in the US Senate and at a federal agency on issues around health, food, nutrition, and international food aid/development, and of course, as the owner of Como Water. Tiffany gets culinary inspiration from the food she grew up eating, and from her travels throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, Western Europe, and Sub-Saharan Africa. She is dedicated to sharing her wealth of knowledge on veg-centric cuisine with others and to help others live by her mantraβ€”love life, live long, and eat veg-centric cuisine!


  1. That looks and sounds wonderful Tiffany! What a unique way to make use of fresh corn. I love Harissa so this will be a definite make.

  2. What a great post!! Your family is beautiful! Love your grilled corn too. This is perfect for summer. I’m seeing sweet corn all over the markets. Yum!

  3. Tiffany….I don’t know which is more beautiful….the corn or your family! What a great picture (of your family) and the corn looks amazing! Something I could really sink my teeth into! And glad about the apartment!! How exciting! : )

  4. OMG that spread looks amazing! I can only imagine the flavor pop on the corn! Nice family pic too- I wish I came from a nice big family like that too. *only child tears*

    • Haha! There are cousins and an aunt in that photo πŸ˜€

  5. That looks delicious. What a nice family portrait. If it was my family everybody would have bunny ears or balancing spoons on their nose, but that is another story.

  6. Congratulations on finding an apartment. The family portrait is wonderful and the corn….sigh…yum! The pics are great as well! Buzzed it!

  7. Your family is so pretty!

    As is the corn. Mmmmm… that buttery, spicy deliciousness!

  8. It’s great to see your happy family !
    When dear ones cook for each other they always make something incredible your corn with the spread is just awesome!

  9. Mmm, baby! I love corn like this! Harissa is absolutely awesome! Your family portrait is also incredibly fabulous! What a great time you must have had πŸ™‚

  10. This looks so juicy and yummy. Corn never looked that pretty to me anywhere.

  11. What a lovely family portrait, and well done on finding your apartment, Tiffany. I hope you have many happy times there! Lovely simple tasty dish. This is one for the BBQ.

  12. GORGEOUS family! Wow! And, it must be said, that grilled is pretty gorgeous, too! I have to try this!

  13. We’ve got corn once..and nobody did anything with it so I had to throw it out.. I wish you have posted this recipe earlier πŸ™‚

  14. I’m so loving that family portrait (you totally rocked the hot!) I’ve never even been in one so I’m super green with envy. Your corn looks finger-licking as well. I’m gonna have to find some of that spread. Enjoy the rest of your holiday! Buzzed πŸ™‚

    • Yeah, coordinating wasn’t easy and some family members “boycotted” the photo… but to heck with those who didn’t show! LOL

  15. You have such a beautiful family πŸ™‚ This portrait is a treasure πŸ™‚

  16. Lovely family portrait! The grilled corn with cilantro harissa sounds very tasty.

  17. Your family is beautiful! I am going to make the corn for our 4th of July BBQ. Awesome recipe!!!

  18. LOVE the family portrait. Adorable! This corn looks so good. I love grilled corn and the flavors you put together here sound so amazing. Must try this πŸ™‚

  19. Grilled corn, one of the best parts of summer. And I love the idea of harissa on it, and cilantro! Congrats on the apartment!!!

  20. Thank you for sharing the beautiful family portrait with us! What a happy family! And congrats on your apartment! You must be very excited about the new life ahead. I would be!! And the grilled corn. My kids love corns so we never made our corns spicy. My husband will love this recipe for sure. Good part is… we don’t have to share corn – we can make spicy corn separately. πŸ˜‰ Can’t wait to read your aunty’s post!

  21. Oh my, that looks fabulous!! I can’t wait until corn is in season here, and I can grill this! I am drooling, and trying to figure out a way I can eat this now!

  22. Almost time for delicious sweet corn…and a your fabulous new topping sounds perfect!

  23. This looks delicious! I love love love corn on the cob. Its the Iowa girl in me. I don’t have a grill but there is a place in town where you can buy roasted corn. So yummy!

  24. I think I would actually prefer the version with harissa to one with simple chili powder, a lot more flavor dimensions πŸ™‚ So glad you found an apartment and are having a great time visiting your family!

  25. Tiffany, you are all incredibly gorgeous!!! I love your portrait!

    The grilled corn looks terrific… it is one of my favorite summer treats!

  26. I’ve always been curious about how to use Harissa. Now I can go out and get some to try this corn recipe πŸ™‚

  27. Harissa spread looks terrific! Bet those grilled corns taste heavenly! I love your family portrait.

  28. What a wonderful family portrait Tiff, and corn ohh corn looks so tempting! Great combination of flavors…I can almost taste that it would juts work together! Congrats on the apartment and of course on today’s top 9!!!!:)

  29. Very very nice family picture.. and the corn… looks fantastic Tif! Congratulation on Top 9

  30. What a great idea for grilled corn! Love it! I love spicy food and I am going to try it next BBQ season! πŸ™‚ So happy you found an apartment!!! πŸ™‚ And what a wonderful family picture Tiff!!! πŸ™‚

  31. Ahhh I forgot… congrats on Top 9 my friend!!!!! <3

  32. Lovely family portrait! Congratulations on the new apartment and getting top 9! The corn looks delicious!

  33. Beautiful pictures all around (especially the family portrait). Very nice. Congrats on making Top 9 on Foodbuzz today! You deserve a big pat on the back… great job. : )

  34. what a great way to serve that gorgeous corn! and what a perfect family picture, thank you so much for sharing this with us!

  35. Hi Tiff. First that is a beautiful portrait. Second I want to make this corn for supper tonight but where I live it will be impossible to purchase Harissa. I found this recipe, is it close and or will it work? Thanks for your time to answer. Karen
    β€’1 teaspoon ground caraway
    β€’2 Tablespoons cayenne
    β€’1 Tablespoon ground cumin
    β€’1 clove garlic
    β€’1/2 teaspoon salt
    β€’1/4 cup fat-free Italian salad dressing
    Mix the caraway, cayenne, and cumin in a small refrigerator container. Peel the garlic clove and press it through a garlic press into the dry spices. Add the salad dressing and mix well. Store covered in refrigerator.

    • sorry for the late reply Karen, that sounds tasty to me! You can also substitute chili powder for Harissa!

  36. I saw you made FB Top 9!! Great job, you deserve it! looks amazing!

  37. This is so beautiful I’m running out for ears of corn right now – and I wasn’t even planning on shopping today!

  38. This looks so delicious I could cry.

    • You crack me UP Nikki! πŸ˜€

  39. Oh yeah, this sounds sooooo good! And great call with subbing the chili powder with harissa! Hope you’re still having fun with your time away =)

  40. That is some scrumptious looking corn. My goodness. I normally only drool over the sweet stuff, but that is really gorgeous. Love the family portrait too. I really need to get my act together and do that with my fam.

  41. Loving that family photo! Congratulations on finding an apartment, being in the Top 9 and sharing this fantabulous recipe. My daughter’s birthday is in August also, what day is yours?

    • The 13th! It’s also my blogoversary! Is your daughter a lovely leo?

  42. Congratulations on making FoodBuzz Top 9!

  43. Congrats to top today.. πŸ™‚ Love the recipe πŸ™‚

  44. This recipe looks great – I’m not surprised it made top 9 – you totally deserve it! And the portrait is beautiful!

  45. These pictures are actually making my mouth water, no exaggeration! I love the family portriat you look beautiful and congrats on Top 9 again. This is getting to be a bit of a habit now isn’t it?! Well done! πŸ˜€

  46. wow talk about summer fun, that looks so good!

  47. Wow you have a beautiful family. never heard of harissa b4, i do have chili powder will be doing this for the weekend…

  48. WOW …What a handsome family! The portrait looks great…..and so does this corn! I’m glad to finally have the recipe.

  49. I’ve never tried harissa before, but the corn looks beautiful! Love grilled corn in the summer.

  50. Hopefully I can find Harissa today because I’d love to try this recipe this weekend!

  51. That looks delicious!! You photo is also good enough to eat. Yumm

  52. Beautiful family and beautiful corn! I bought a tube of harissa and now I can put it to use this weekend πŸ™‚ Sorry about the apartment πŸ™ {reading backwards} but Congrats on the Top 9!

  53. That corn sounds soooo yummy! I may have tried grilled corn before, but never with such a delicious combination like cilantro and harissa. This sounds like a must!

  54. Oh honey, that looks fantastic!

  55. I have never heard of harissa before, but reading about it, I must find some. I love spicy food. The grilled corn looks so good! We finally started grilling, just a few weeks behind, but better late then never. Excited to try this recipe:-)
    Hugs, Terra

  56. Maybe your next post should be on how to take such a pretty picture because that family portrait is gorgeous! Also, that corn looks and sounds wonderful. I don’t think I’ve ever made corn with a spread but that is going to change very soon.

  57. Holy cow — you’re post made me hit the Grocery for corn on the cob! I’ve had a bottle of dried Harissa for some time, but haven’t used it. I’ve got the compound butter already made — and added the zest and juice of a small lime. I can’t wait for dinner!

    PS — Big families are the best. I’m #1 of 8!

    • Ooooo lala! I bet this was great with the lime! πŸ˜€

  58. Hi Tiffany! Long time no see! That is one gorgeous family potrait and one incredible grilled corn recipe. I have harissa in the fridge and I LOOOOOOOOOVE cilantro, so the next time I grill corn, guess what’s going on it??! It’s a little late, I know, but congrats on Top 9 girl! Totally well deserved!!

    • Long time is right! So nice to hear from you!!! πŸ˜€

  59. Thanks for the comments everyone!!!

  60. What a great way to make summer corn! We just recently discovered harissa so I have some in my fridge just waiting to try this out!

  61. I am totally drooling!!!

  62. The corn is looking Fantabulous and am sure it tasted out of this world. I love corn and this time I will give harissa a shot. Congratulations for top 9, Cheers, Sonia !

  63. Congrats on making today’s Foodbuzz Top 9!

  64. Yum!!! I can see why this post is so popular, it looks absolutely delicious!

    I can’t wait to try this recipe out on the BBQ!