Dana Slatkin

10 Ways To Enjoy Summer Corn and Zucchini

10 ways to enjoy corn and zucchini

Photo credit: jasmineteablog.com

My summertime ideal is to spend as much time as possible outdoors, so quick, stress-free cooking is the name of the game. Why not ditch the cookbooks and improvise?

Seize the season and visit your local farmers market. Bring home all your summer spoils. Then spend an hour or two in the kitchen, making it up as you go.

Pretend you’re a contestant on Chopped and you’re given a basket of ingredients to put together into a delicious dish. With some pantry staples — avocado oil (for grilling and high-heat cooking), olive oil (for salads), a variety of vinegars, garbanzo flour for fritters and whole grains like quinoa and brown rice — you can throw together a summer meal quicker than you can say ”Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini!”

In the summer spirit, I wanted to give you some ideas rather than recipes for enjoying two of the season’s sweetest and most ubiquitous stars, corn and zucchini. If your garden is cranking like mine, you’ll have no shortage of either for weeks to come. And if you simply can’t get enough of them, do some flash-freezing so you’ll have a taste of summer long after the dog days are gone.

Photo credit: closetcooking.com

1. Low-Fat Summer Quiche: Sauté diced zucchini in olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Add fresh corn kernels in the last minute of cooking. Add the sautéed vegetables with a handful of fresh basil to this Low-Fat Quiche  recipe.

2. Zucchini Corn Fritters: Grate zucchini into a colander and sprinkle with a teaspoon of kosher salt. Allow to drain for a half hour or longer, then transfer to a dish towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Add along with a handful of fresh corn kernels to this Fritter batter  and cook like pancakes in a cast-iron pan.

3. Grilled Corn and Zucchini Caprese Salad: Brush long slices of zucchini and whole corn cobs with avocado oil or organic grapeseed oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill until charred. Cut the kernels from the cobs. Arrange in a Caprese Salad or in this elegant Tomato Mozzarella Tower  for a lovely summer twist.

4. Chilled Corn-Zucchini Soup Make a fresh corn broth: cut the kernels from fresh corn, reserving the cobs and husks. Place the cobs and husks into a large pot of unsweetened rice milk and boil for 20 minutes with fresh herbs, a bay leaf, or leek tops until aromatic. Substitute zucchini for lotus root in this Vegan Corn Chowder. Serve chilled.

5. Grilled Corn and Zucchini with Romaine Lettuce Wedge and Light Ranch Dressing: Grill (or sauté) fresh corn kernels and diced zucchini in avocado oil or grapeseed oil over medium heat until lightly charred. Season with salt, pepper and fresh thyme. Serve over a wedge of grilled romaine lettuce with this Healthy Ranch Dressing.

6. Corn and Zucchini Ceviche: Lightly steam or sauté fresh corn kernels and sliced zucchini, seasoning with salt and pepper, until just tender. Serve in cocktail glasses with this delicious Japanese-Peruvian Ceviche Dressing  from Nobu Matsuhisa.

7. Mediterranean Corn and Zucchini Quinoa Salad: Add raw or lightly steamed fresh corn kernels and grated zucchini to this lovely Mediterranean Quinoa Salad for a light lunch.

8. Corn and Zucchini Kale Salad: Lightly sauté fresh corn kernels and grated zucchini in olive oil over low heat, seasoning with salt, pepper and fresh mint or basil. Add to this Farmgirl Classic, Kale Quinoa Salad, with a Champagne or balsamic vinaigrette.

9. Grilled Corn and Zucchini Quesadillas: Brush long slices of zucchini and whole corn cobs with avocado oil or organic grapeseed oil and grill until charred. Cut the kernels from the cobs and chop the zucchini. Add to quesadillas made with corn tortillas and your favorite cheese.

10. Sautéed Corn and Zucchini Crepes: In a cast-iron pan over high heat,sauté corn kernels and diced zucchini in a little organic butter or avocado oil. Add a tablespoon of fresh chopped tarragon or basil. Fill Farmgirl Crepes  with corn, zucchini, and cubes of goat’s milk brie, chevre, or your favorite grated cheese. Fold the crepes over and warm in a 300° F oven until the cheese is melted.

You have all summer to enter the Summer Farmgirl Giveaway! Send in as many entries as you wish. Two winners will receive a sleek Clean Bottle and two sets of groovy Govino glasses!

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