For Summer Recipe #1, No-Bake Cheesecake, click here.
For the last 3 years, Arturo and I have belonged to the Cedarmore Farm Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. As a result, we get a wonderful box of veggies every Friday, freshly selected from whatever happens to be ripe that week.
Through our CSA, we’ve been introduced to lots of vegetables we would never have tried on our own. Our favorites include garlic scapes – the tall, above-ground part of garlic that tastes much like green beans with a very mild onion flavor – and all sorts of leafy greens. Neither Arturo nor I had much experience with kale or chard before our CSA, but now the boxes containing greens are greeted with much excitement and rejoicing.
Our CSA share is also largely responsible for our virtually vegetarian lifestyle. When we get boxes of veggies every Friday, it’s all we can do to keep up with eating the fresh vegetables in our fridge. Forget shopping for meat each week – we don’t have room for it in our bellies!
Participating in the CSA has also been a wonderful practice in creativity. I remember one box our first year that contained about 8 ears of corn, plus an assortment of other veggies. As a result, we ate a LOT of corn that week, and I figured out pretty quickly that just plain old corn-on-the-cob didn’t cut it when corn was a part of every meal! The CSA has pushed me to improve and constantly expand upon my cooking skills.
Like the box I just mentioned, last week’s box was also quite full of corn – 4 ears – as well as a whole bunch of fresh tomatoes. I’d never tried a recipe that used both fresh corn and fresh tomatoes together, so Saturday evening, I combed through my cookbooks for inspiration. In Classic Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking, I found a recipe that called for corn, tomatoes, and okra. Only problem was that we didn’t have any okra. Unperturbed, I modified the ingredients, spices, and cooking times a bit and came up with a recipe that was all my own and that was also thoroughly delicious. Served over a bed of cous cous, it was simply fantastic!
Corn, Tomatoes, and Green Beans over Cous Cous
- 1 lb green beans
- 4-5 ears sweet corn (about 4 cups of corn kernels)
- 4 medium or 3 large tomatoes, diced
- 1/4 cup canola or olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp seasoned salt
- 1 tsp parsley flakes
- Cous Cous:
- 1 cup dry cous cous
- 1 cup boiling water or boiling chicken broth (a bouillon cube dissolved in 1 cup of boiling water will do the job nicely)
- parsley flakes to taste (I used about 1/2 T)
- Clean and cut the green beans into 1-2 inch pieces.
- Cut the corn kernels off the cob.
- Heat oil in a dutch oven or large, deep skillet.
- Add the corn, green beans, and all seasonings except for parsley. Fry on medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until cooked through and veggies are just starting to brown, about 20 minutes. (While mixture is cooking, you can add water a tablespoon at a time to help prevent sticking.)
- Add the tomatoes and parsley, and return mixture to boiling. Reduce heat to low and simmer, still stirring frequently, for 5 minutes to heat tomatoes all the way through and to blend the flavors.
- Garnish with a bit more freshly ground black pepper just before serving.
- Mix cous cous and parsley in a heatproof bowl.
- Pour boiling liquid over mixture. Stir with a fork and cover bowl. Allow to stand for 5 minutes.
- Fluff with a fork before serving.
This recipe had a wonderful smokey flavor from the extended frying/browning process that perfectly complimented the bold flavor of freshly picked vegetables. This past week may have been the first time I made this recipe, but it captured the flavor of summer so perfectly that I know I’ll be making it again!