I’ve gone on about my love of midwestern corn before. Sweet, juicy, crunchy… the quintessential taste of summer. I’m in Chicago visiting my family this week, and that corn is every bit as good as I remembered. Salt, a little bit of butter, that’s it.
This succotash, I made a few weeks ago at home with what I call “pretty-good” local Texas corn. It’s the kind of that I don’t feel guilty about mixing it up with other things… crunchy colorful vegetables, spicy jalapenos, and some bright herbs. I love a succotash that is rich and creamy, but to keep this on the lighter side I splashed in just a bit of coconut milk.
Serve this room temperature by itself or as a side dish. We managed to have a tiny bit leftover, and it was absolutely delicious cold the next day.
I love charred bread, but I haven’t always. When I was younger, my dad ate all the family reject burnt food. Overdone toast, accidentally burnt pancakes, cookies we left in the oven too long… my sister and I had a preference toward underdone and doughy food so whatever we messed up and overcooked, we’d pile on a plate for my dad. And he’d always say “this is the best kind.”
The first time I put burnt toast on a plate for Jack, he looked at me and said “what’s this, am I your dad now?” I had just always assumed that burnt food equalled man food. So over time, I selflessly became the eater of the black toast… not quite as black as my dad would eat but I’ve come to love bread with a nice deep char. Especially in a salad like this.
Toasty garlicky bread cubes kick up your average panzanella… that char offers such a delightful contrast to the juicy tomatoes, sweet basil and fruity olive oil.
Make it a full meal by topping it with a poached egg.
I eat a lot of tacos. Here in Austin, you can’t walk 10 feet without tripping over another taco truck or mexican restaurant. But my favorite thing is actually the taco in it’s deconstructed form: the taco salad.
You can take this in as many different directions as there are taco fillings, but I especially like this with red quinoa (although if you had non-red quinoa it would taste pretty much the same). The chewy little red kernels sort of take on the essence of taco meat.
The rest of the ingredients came together from what I happened to have on hand: half a pint of cherry tomatoes, scallions, a poblano, leftover tortillas, etc. This is a great way to use up leftover veggies, meats and cheeses that you might already have in your kitchen.
This recipe is featured in the summer issue of Foodiecrush.
Oh, corn… if you’re not from the midwest, you don’t really know corn… in the same way that if you’ve never been to southern Italy, you’ve never truly experienced a tomato.
Jack doesn’t “get” corn. But he’s from Florida so he never grew up with late-July anticipation of the sweet, crunchy, juicy goodness that is Illinois bi-color corn. (and truthfully, I think the closest he got to “corn” as a child was via Frito-Lay).
If I had peak-season Illinois corn, I wouldn’t even be cooking it this much. This is a summery dish you make when you live somewhere that doesn’t have Illinois corn (or you could even use frozen corn). We have this pretty good corn in Texas right now. I usually eat it doused with chipotle chile powder (another good application for “pretty good” corn). But this time I was craving something a little bit more subtle.
This creamy sauce, made from corn and almonds, is luscious and a just tad bit rich… but on the (way) lighter side than traditional creamy fettuccine. I tossed in some spicy arugula for contrast… (also, in case no one’s noticed, I’m kind of an arugula addict).
I’m excited to be guest posting at Anthology Magazine this month with a 4-part summer salad series! If you can’t tell by now, I live on salads all summer long so I’m excited to share some of my favorites. First up, today, is this savory-with-a punch-of-sweet, strawberry & feta quinoa salad.