Dining In

Fresh from the Garden
By Nancy Finch, Food Columnist


Farmers’ Market Corn Salad

Summer vegetables are at their peak right now. We’re always on the lookout for new ways to enjoy these short-lived treats. Shipped-in varieties are appreciated, but they’re no match for locally grown or, better yet, your own garden’s bounty.

Fresh corn is truly so good and tender that you can eat it raw. Instead, a salad features corn that is cooked just briefly in olive oil, then combined with tomatoes and onions. The brief bath in olive oil lends a tasty flavor to the corn. Either fresh basil or cilantro may be used. Again, an easy and fast combination, but a good and different way to enjoy tender corn.

If you’re enjoying a surplus of zucchini, you may be ready to bake some zucchini bread. We’ve tried a recipe that was easy and good. I made the whole works in my food processor. I hesitate to say that because once I wrote that I had made a recipe in my processor and got angry letters from readers whose processors wouldn’t accommodate the recipe. I have a large bowl processor, so beware.

Fried tomatoes are a Southern favorite. I remember my father making a lunchtime meal from fried tomatoes out of his bountiful garden. Use margarine, butter or oil. For extra taste, fry a couple of slices of bacon, use the grease to fry the tomatoes in and crumble the bacon over the top. Yum!

Farmers’ Market Corn Salad

Ingredients:

bullet4 medium ears corn, husked
bullet1⁄4 c olive oil
bullet2 large tomatoes, diced
bullet1 small red onion, diced
bullet2 T cider (or other) vinegar
bullet2 T fresh basil or cilantro, chopped
bullet1⁄2 t Tabasco pepper sauce
bullet1⁄4 t salt

Directions: Cut corn from cobs to make about 3 cups. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn. Cook until tender and bright yellow. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile combine tomatoes, red onion, vinegar and basil or cilantro, pepper sauce and salt. Stir in corn. Mix well. Makes 6 servings.

Zucchini Bread

Ingredients:

bullet

3 c flour

bullet

11⁄2 c sugar

bullet

4 t baking powder

bullet

11⁄2 t cinnamon

bullet

1 t salt

bullet

4 large eggs

bullet

3 c grated zucchini (about 2 medium)

bullet

2⁄3 c vegetable oil

bullet

1 c chopped walnuts

Directions: Preheat oven to 350˚. Grease two 8-1⁄2 x 4-1⁄2-inch loaf pans. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add eggs, zucchini and oil. Combine ingredients just until moistened. Stir in walnuts. Spoon mixture into prepared pans. Bake 1 hour or longer until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Makes 2 loaves.

Fried Tomatoes

Ingredients:

bullet3 medium-sized firm green or red tomatoes
bullet1 large egg
bulletTabasco sauce, to taste
bullet1⁄2 c dried seasoned bread crumbs (Italian or oregano seasoning)
bullet1⁄4 c butter, margarine or oil
(Or fry in bacon fat from 2 strips bacon, crumble bacon on top)

Directions: Cut tomatoes crosswise into 1⁄2-inch-thick slices with serrated knife. Beat egg with Tabasco sauce in shallow bowl. Place bread crumbs on waxed paper or in shallow bowl. Dip tomato slices in egg mixture, then into bread crumbs. Melt two tablespoons butter  in 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add tomatoes, a few slices at a time. Cook until lightly brown on each side, turning once. Repeat with remaining butter and tomatoes. Serve hot. Makes 4 servings.

 

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