Summer Corn and Tomato Salad

This recipe is simple. The only thing that needs to be cooked is the corn. All you have to do is find good ingredients and put them together. For me, this means the corn, tomato, and basil all came directly from the backyard. However, I know at least in my end of the world, there is fresh corn and tomatoes available all over the place. On my (albeit lengthy) drive to work alone, I pass no less than 3 farm stands, all selling corn, and 2 selling tomatoes. Even the corn and tomatoes you can find in normal grocery stores are so much more flavourful and juicy at this time of year. Take advantage while you can! Look for ones grown closest to you, since they’ll probably be the freshest.

I think corn tends to be an underrated ingredient. People think you either eat it on the cob or just boil the kernels. And while both of these options are great, especially with a smear of butter, there are so many other options. Try a corn salsa or chutney. Or throw some cooked kernels in a frittata or quiche. Or make a salad like this one.

So cutting corn off the cob can be a pain in the butt a lot of the time. I can’t eat corn right on the cob (dental issues), so I constantly have to cut mine off. Usually this ends in a shower of kernels and a cob sliding all over the place. But wait! When making this, it occurred to me to use a big, sharp knife. It made all the difference. The corn slid right off the cob with a minimal mess. Remember, sharp knives are safer than dull knives, since dull knives need more pressure to cut through food and increase the chance that the knife will slip. I’m sure you all knew this and use sharp knives for your corn, but I thought I’d throw in the tip in case anyone is struggling like me!

This recipe serves 2 as a side. Pair this salad with your favourite grilled chicken or fish for a complete meal.

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Ingredients:

  • Kernels of 2 cobs of corn, cooked
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 3 tbsp soft goat cheese
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Place corn on a plate. Top with tomato and basil. Crumble goat cheese over salad and drizzle with oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
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Sweet Potato Feta Flipped Frittata

I have gone on and on about my love of breakfast foods in so many posts, that I will not be doing that today. But I still love breakfast foods and they should be incorporated for all meals of the day.

One of my first posts was a frittata, featuring dandelion greens, potato, and mozzarella. At the time, I lived with 4 other girls and we had a cast iron skillet that made it easy to take a frittata from the stove to finishing in the oven. For some reason, I don’t have one in my kitchen now, so any frittatas have to be made in a Dutch oven, since I’m not totally sure any of my frying pans are oven safe.

So when I saw this article about flipped frittatas from Serious Eats, I was intrigued and so impressed that someone had such an easy way to make one, without using the oven. This party trick is doubly useful in the summer when it’s too hot to heat up the whole house with the oven anyway.

Food Geek Book Alert: Have you seen the book The Food Lab, by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt from Serious Eats? It is an awesome resource (or cover-to-cover read if you’re like me) for the scientifically-tested best way to make all kinds of basic and more complicated foods, from grilling a steak to the best pancake batter, to every way you could want to cook your veggies. The sciencey bits are interspersed with sarcastic jokes, and there’s a recipe to go with every concept, in case you need to do some of your own science. If you need to know the how and why of everything you cook, you probably need this in your life.

This recipe uses sweet potato, feta, thyme and parsley because that’s what I had in the pantry/fridge/herb pots on the deck. The beauty of a frittata though, is that you could throw in whatever weird and wonderful combination of ingredients you have on hand and it will be great. Also, I used a larger frying pan because the smaller one was dirty. Serious Eats recommends using a 10-inch pan, which will give you a thicker frittata than the pancake-esque one I made.

This recipe makes 2-4 servings. Leftovers can be covered and stored in the fridge. I ate my leftover slice cold for lunch, or you can heat it up in the microwave.

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Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • Pinch each salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  1. Beat eggs with salt and pepper in a small bowl until light and fluffy. Set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a 10-inch non-stick skillet. Add the onion and cook until translucent, roughly 3 minutes.Add onion to egg mixture.
  3. Heat another 1 tbsp olive oil. Add sweet potato and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, roughly 6-8 minutes. Add to egg mixture. Beat in herbs and feta.
  4. Heat remaining 1 tbsp oil and swirl to coat entire pan. Scrape in egg mixture and let cook 3 minutes, or until the bottom is lightly browned and top is starting to set. Lightly press in edges of frittata.
  5. Carefully place a plate over top of the frittata. Over a sink, quickly flip the pan so the frittata is upside-down on the plate. Gently slide frittata back into pan to cook the other side, 2 minutes.
  6. Carefully flip out of pan and serve.

 

Cilantro Pesto

Happy Tuesday friends! How’s everyone’s week going so far? So far I’ve had two great suppers this week, I killed it at the gym tonight, and there’s so much amazing produce coming out of the backyard garden.

Last night I made The Kitchn’s Garlicky Grilled Kale Salad, which is a very interesting take on kale salad. We served it up with some grilled pork for a simple summery meal. I think I’ll be grilling kale to use in my own Garlicky Kale Salad before the summer is out. If you have this salad in your usual meal rotation, try grilling the kale and let me know how it goes! There is also so much kale coming out of the garden right now that I don’t know what to do with it! As much as I’ve cooked and made salads out of it, there is such a thing as too much kale, so I’ve been freezing it. If you’re interested in this, stay tuned for a post telling you all about it!

And now for today’s recipe: cilantro pesto! As you’ve heard me say zillions of times, I hate wasting food. I never want to throw anything out if it could be used in any way, shape, or form. Composting my odds and ends helps this, since the compost will be used on the garden eventually, but even still, I try to use up all the scraps I can. Do you ever find that you buy a bunch of an herb only to use a couple tablespoons worth, and then the rest just turns to mush in the crisper drawer? Me too, every time. For this recipe, the cilantro can be a little bit wilted, but not gone bad yet. I served mine over some pasta and topped it with Parmesan cheese, but this would make a great marinade for chicken, could be used in sandwiches or garlic toast, or could be tossed with vegetables before roasting or grilling. It’s a versatile little sauce to make with your leftover cilantro and keep in the fridge for a couple days.

This recipe makes roughly 3/4 cup.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cilantro leaves and some stems
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup water
  1. In a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients and blend until a paste forms.
  2. Add water slowly until desired consistency is reached.

 

Summer Cherry Chutney

When it is as hot out as it has been here the last few weeks, no one wants to cook at the end of the day, and especially anything fancy. My favourite way to work around this is to make a lot of something and then eat the same thing for a week. It sounds boring, but there’s ways to switch it up.

For lunch, I’ve been packing hard-boiled eggs, a container of cut veggies, some almonds or nut butter, and a piece of fruit or two. The things that keep it interesting are having different combinations of veggies and different fruits, as well as different nuts or pairing the nut butter with the fruit.  Kale salad has also been featured here instead of the veggie sticks, and a left-over burger snuck it’s way in instead of the eggs. I’m fairly sure I’ve eaten some variation on this for the last two weeks (atleast), and I’m not bored yet.

Dinners can be a little bit harder. A couple weeks ago I was rooting through the freezer while figuring out what to cook for the week and found three GIANT pieces of pork. Like enough to last two people for most of a week. The obvious solution was to defrost one over the course of two or three days in the fridge, and then grill it on low heat until it was cooked through. We paired this with really simple kale salads straight from the garden, and we didn’t have to really cook dinner for days!

Eating the same dish over and over can get repetitive eventually. An easy way to mix things up and keep your healthy eating interesting is to change what sauce you have with your meal. Sauces are easy to make and many can be made with a few ingredients you already have on hand. This one uses the sour cherries I froze last summer after making this recipe.

Does anyone else eat the same thing all week often? Let me know in the comments and tell me what keeps it from getting boring!

Have a great 4-day week!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen and thawed pitted sour cherries
  • 1 cup vegetable broth (like from this recipe)
  • 2 tbsp dried thyme
  • Pinch each salt and pepper
  1. Heat the oil in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the cherries and cook 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, to caramelize the sugars.
  2. Add broth, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer 20 minutes or until almost all liquid has evaporated.
  3. Serve over your favourite grilled meat.