Sweet Corn Gazpacho

Sweet Corn Gazpacho

I know, I know, I’m still going with the sweet corn...

The other day, Jack was driving out to the suburbs to pick up a few things at my parent’s house and I asked him to stop at The Farm on his way home. The Farm is a little farm stand in Darien, IL where, in my opinion, the best sweet corn is grown. Growing up, my mom brought home dozens of ears of corn at a time and we’d all sit on the back stoop and shuck it. It took forever and we made a silky mess, peeling back one soft paper-y layer at a time. We loved working hard for our, what I now realize was, large amounts of corn.

Jack called me when he got there and said “they’re selling corn by the half dozen, so you want me to get one bundle of six right?” and I said “no, no, of course not, get 2 bundles! I blurted this out impulsively because it’s the way my mom bought (and still buys) corn for the family during corn season. It wasn’t until he came home with what felt like a million kernels of corn that I realized that he and I are only a family of 2 and what the heck would I do with ALL of this corn?

Well for starters, I made this gazpacho:

Sweet Corn Gazpacho

The days are still warm so it’s still ok to eat gazpacho in my book (er… on my blog). This recipe couldn’t be easier – just put all of the ingredients in a blender and blend. This soup consists of a soft yellow heirloom tomato, a yellow pepper, a cucumber, olive oil, sherry vinegar, and raw corn. I like to reserve a few corn kernels to garnish on top of the soup with a few cherry tomatoes, sliced basil, and some few micro greens.

It’s a very light soup – pair it with slices of avocado toast and you’ll have a refreshing lunch or light dinner.

Special note: Soups are usually better on the second or third day when the flavors have the chance to mingle in the fridge. This soup is no exception – I just finished up the leftover soup as I type this (day 3), and it’s so much more cohesive and delicious than it was on the first day.

Sweet Corn Gazpacho

Tomato, Peach & Corn Panzanella

Tomato, Peach & Corn Panzanella

Everyone seems to be posting fall recipes lately and I have one thing to say about that: too soon! It’s technically still summer and we’ve been enjoying the (new to us) Chicago city markets. It’s so fun to get used to what grows in season here, which is a totally different climate than where we came from in Austin. There’s been a plethora of amazing tomatoes, (still) tons of fresh sweet corn, peppers, eggplants, and more! In my mind, summer isn’t over until the last peach is eaten, so here’s a bountiful tomato, peach, and corn panzanella that I thought would be nice for your labor day gatherings. At home, I’ve been calling this the “everything summer” panzanella.

If you’re like me, the girl that’s hanging on to summer because (this year for us) winter will actually be coming, then you’ll enjoy this salad at your Labor day gatherings this weekend!

Tomato, Peach & Corn Panzanella

First, gather all of the best tomatoes, peaches, corn, and basil that you can find. This salad is flexible – if you don’t like corn, skip it. If you don’t have ripe peaches, you can skip those too and just add some extra tomatoes.

Second, find some good bread! I nabbed this round of sourdough at the Tuesday market in Lincoln Square.

Tomato, Peach & Corn Panzanella Tomato, Peach & Corn Panzanella

Did I mention that this is a one bowl recipe? The dressing gets stirred at the bottom of a large bowl, before everything else gets added. It couldn’t be easier!

Tomato, Peach & Corn Panzanella

Next, add “everything summer” to the bowl. Stir to let the tomato and peach juices all mingle together.

Tomato, Peach & Corn Panzanella

Stir in some crusty day-old bread. Let it sit for a few minutes so that the bread can soak up some of the juices. Top with roasted chickpeas (optional for a little protein!) and plenty of sliced basil.

Enjoy the panzanella on its own or serve it as a side dish – pair it with some crisp white wine and savor the last bits of summer!

Tomato, Peach & Corn Panzanella

Iced Tea with Fancy Herbal & Fruity Ice

Iced Tea with Fancy Herbal & Fruity Ice

You might not know this little factoid about myself and Jack, but we freaking love iced tea. Black tea, green tea, tea in our cocktails – we’re obsessed, especially now that we’re in the heat of the summer. Although, we’re weirdos that drink iced tea in the winter too, but I digress…

Today’s recipe is less of a recipe and more of a really fun, summery way to serve iced tea. What you do is freeze herbs, fruits, citrus, and cucumbers (whatever you want, really) and serve it with yummy iced tea! I think this is such an easy and pretty party beverage. It’s something everyone can enjoy because it’s unsweetened, non-alcoholic, and super refreshing.

Iced Tea with Fancy Herbal & Fruity Ice

We’ve partnered with Pure Leaf Home Brewed Teas on this post because we are very specific about our teas… and we love theirs. This fancy iced “recipe” is delicious with any of Pure Leaf’s new home brewed bagged iced teas. Here, I used Pure Leaf’s Iced Green Tea with Citrus Flavor and Iced Black Tea with Peach Flavor.

Pure Leaf Home Brewed Iced Teas are specifically made to be consumed iced. They’re crafted with the highest quality whole tea leaves, real fruit pieces, petals, and herbs – the flavors are vibrant and perfect for summer.

Iced Tea with Fancy Herbal & Fruity Ice

To make these, I used a square ice cube tray, but you could make these with any sized ice cube tray you like.

Iced Tea with Fancy Herbal & Fruity Ice

I froze mint, basil, lemon pieces, cucumbers and raspberries in my ice cubes, but anything goes – I’d love to see what pretty combinations you come up with!

Iced Tea with Fancy Herbal & Fruity Ice

Sweet Corn Recipes

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The other day, I professed my love of midwest sweet corn and as a result, I got a ton requests for more ways to use corn while it’s in peak season. To be honest, when corn is at its best like it is right now, not much has to be done to it… I usually just grill it with a little olive oil and a few pinches of salt or toss the raw kernels into salads. But here are some of my favorite corn recipes that go a bit further and are so perfect if you’re up to your ears in corn this summer!

You can click on the photos themselves to take you to the full recipe:

Grilled Corn, Cucumber, Peach & Avocado Salad

Grilled Corn, Cucumber, Peach & Avocado Salad
This is one of my all-time favorite recipes – it’s basically an explosion of everything that’s in season right now (peaches, peppers, cucumber, basil, etc), and drizzled with creamy cilantro dressing. If you make one recipe before summer is over – make it this one 🙂

Creamy Vegan Corn Chowder

Creamy Vegan Corn Chowder
Another reader favorite – this chowder is thick, satisfying, and perfect for cooler summer nights. It contains 4 ears of sweet corn, potato for thickness, smoked paprika for, well, smokiness. It’s finished with a bit of coconut milk in lieu of cream.

Tostadas with Smoky Sweet Corn Hummus

Tostadas with Smoky Sweet Corn Hummus
This recipe uses a trifecta of corn – there’s creamy corn hummus, slathered on crispy corn tortillas, with more corn (and other things – avocado, jalapeno) piled on top.

Vegan Cobb Salad with Coconut "Bacon"

Vegan Cobb Salad with Coconut Bacon
This star of this recipe is the crispy, smoky coconut “bacon,” but corn, tofu, avocado, zucchini, tomatoes, etc), make it a satisfying full-meal salad.

Chili Lime Grilled Corn on the Cob

Chili Lime Grilled Corn on the Cob
THIS SAUCE on corn, omg, it’s so so good. The leftover sauce here is used on the Corn Cucumber & Peach salad at the top of this post.

Taco Bowls with Cucumber Jalapeño Ranch

Taco Bowls with Cucumber Jalapeño Ranch
One of my favorite recent recipes – spiced quinoa, corn, crispy tortillas, and a “ranch” dressing that’s made with almonds – a wonderful light, yet filling, summer dinner.

Summer Squash Vegetable Pizza

Summer Squash Vegetable Pizza
Another example of how I love to throw corn on everything! This summer squash vegetable pizza is loaded with, well, a garden full of corn and other vegetables.

Mexican Street Corn Salad

Mexican Street Corn Salad
This is an off-the-cob version of Elotes – this salad is creamy, smoky, and spicy. It’s an older recipe, but one I go back to often.

Tell me – what do you love to make with corn?

Corn & Green Bean Tomatillo Tacos

Corn & Green Bean Tomatillo Tacos

So… long story short, we came to Chicago this past spring, and expected to be gone by now. Instead, we spent time with family and found a house here that we loved. Now we’re here for good – or at least a few years. I grew up here, but I honestly never expected to be back. Winter isn’t my thing, but I’m trying to get excited for it anyway.

There is something here you don’t have to twist my arm to get excited about: midwest corn! When I realized we weren’t going to be bolting town, I was excited for 2 things – we’d finally have a home of our own again and we’d be in town for sweet corn season 🙂

Corn & Green Bean Tomatillo Tacos

Pictured above are the things I gathered a few weeks ago at the market, except the lime was from the store. The combo of corn and tortillas meant taco time!

I was super surprised to find fresh tomatillos in Chicago, so made fresh salsa with them (although you could use store-bought tomatillo salsa for this recipe as well).

Corn & Green Bean Tomatillo Tacos Corn & Green Bean Tomatillo Tacos

I grilled the green beans and the corn and tossed them all together with cilantro, cherry tomatoes, lime juice, and a scoop of the salsa. This salad could be eaten on its own, but here I made it into a taco filling.

These tacos are on the messy side so I would suggest using flour tortillas since they won’t fall apart like some corn tortillas do. I used these White Corn & Wheat tortillas from La Tortilla Factory, which I found at Whole Foods. Top the tacos with feta or cotija cheese, serrano peppers, and scoops of the tomatillo salsa. A super easy summer dinner! If you’d like, everything can be made in advance.

I should also mention that the filling that I had left over made for great breakfast tacos the following morning. Toss generous scoops of the corn salad into 4 eggs while you’re scrambling them. Divide into 4 tacos, top with cheese (if you like), and scoop on the salsa.

Corn & Green Bean Tomatillo Tacos