Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Summer Staples From The Garden

This is the time of year when the summer harvests are coming in. There is a proliferation of the three most common, tomatoes, zucchini and corn. These are wonderful to work with, the staples of a summer kitchen. The recipes for them are varied , and can be used for any meal, including breakfast.

David Tanis know this and wrote about it in his A City Kitchen column in today's New York Times' Food section.Fresh summer produce was a big part of his diet during his Midwestern boyhood. He grew up enjoying sun warmed beefsteaks along with sweet corn. There is also his taste for zucchini , thanks to a neighbor who was willing to experiment with it. All three have inspired him to create recipes for three meals. Normally breakfast recipes don't include any vegetables but Mr. Tanis gives us a zucchini flan, that would also work as a light weekend supper.It involves  the sliced veggie along with eggs mixed with milk and nutmeg.Fresh basil and thyme is also used and. The zucchini slices are layered with the custard mixture  Grated cheese such as Gruyere or Cheddar is also part of the flan and it's sprinkled on after the eggs.. If if's too hot to make this, then think about just frying the slices or coins in olive oil and pepper flakes.My version is sautéing in a mix of butter and olive oil with a garlic clove thrown in for more flavor.

Tomatoes and corn are not forgotten either. Mr. Tanis has a yummy tomato salad with anchovy toast that would be right up my alley.  His vinaigrette includes vinegar but you can omit this because the tomatoes provide acidity too. Shallots are also added for bite and garlic cloves. The salad is also colorful. He suggests using a variety of different tomatoes  so the salad had color along with different tastes  from grape, cherry and plum tomatoes. The toast is smeared with anchovy which  makes for a perfect foil for the salad - although be tempted to top the slices with the tomatoes. His corn recipe is a spin on a classic corn muffins with the jolt of jalapeno.Mr. Tanis adds fresh corn kernels to corn meal with the spin of the finely chopped pepper and cheddar. Mushrooms can be added too, surprisingly. Of course tomatoes and corn taste good on their own. Nothing beats a beefsteak with just salt or an ear of corn, slathered with butter, or oil and pesto.

Enjoy the staples of summer. Tomatoes , corn and zucchini can be made a variety of different ways for different meals. Use them for lunch , dinner and even breakfast!

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