Discover more from the smitten kitchen digest
corn and tomatoes, incessantly
plus: a peach and sour cream birthday cake
Monday, July 10, 2023
A soothing morning watch 🫑 [TikTok]
This week’s newsletter is dedicated to this cartoon many of you sent me last week, knowing full well that yes, I’d love to talk earnestly and incessantly about tomatoes and corn. I wait all year for this! The Greenmarkets are popping off [I can feel the cringe from my son all the way at camp at my word choice, and yours, through the screen] and, at last, the answer to “What should we have for dinner?” is “Whatever looks good today!” knowing full well everything does. Below, a few of my archive favorites at the intersection of tomato and fresh corn season. Plus, shoutout to a few recipes that didn’t make the lineup but that no tomato-corn season should go without: The Tomato and Corn Cobbler and Zucchini Cornbread with Tomato Butter (in Smitten Kitchen Keepers) the Polenta-Baked Eggs with Corn, Tomato and Fontina and Charred Corn Succotash with Lime and Crispy Shallots (in Smitten Kitchen Every Day), plus the Burst Tomato Galette with Corn and Zucchini and Baked Farro with Summer Vegetables (these were in last week’s newsletter, but belong in both!)
I’ve written three cookbooks and I’m a tiny bit biased, but I think you’d love them all. I’m thrilled that this warmer weather means you might be able to cook some of my summery favorites from my most recent cookbook, Smitten Kitchen Keepers, such as: zucchini cornbread and tomato butter, snow peas with pecorino and walnuts, cucumber salad with garlicky dill yogurt, clam chowder with bacon croutons, zucchini and pesto lasagna, and crispy chili garlic butter shrimp, raspberry crostata, strawberry summer stack cake, and the blondie chipwiches.
This is one of my favorite summer meals of all time and it's wildly simple, just cherry tomatoes quick-roasted with olive oil, garlic, and salt until saucy, and then we tumble in a can of beans and let them drink it up. Finish with basil and eat straight from the pan, or ladle it over crostini. Repeat as long as tomatoes last.
Not sure what to make for dinner? Not sure you even want to make dinner? Welcome; you're among friends. Here is something we can all agree on: Thick slices of cheese, griddled until crisp. Slide it onto toasted bread with a little mayo, and add big slices of the freshest tomatoes you can find, seasoned with salt and pepper. Repeat until tomato season ends.
Don't let tomato season pass without making these, doubly so if you've only had terrible ones to date. The rice absorbs the most clear-noted pure tomato sauce you’ll ever scoop onto a fork; the ingredient list couldn't be less complicated. It's total summer dinner bliss.
Dinner tonight is going to take 15 minutes to make and showcase tomatoes in nearly their purest form, naturally sweet and faintly tangy, then garlic-kissed and tangled with fresh basil and the wispiest strands of spaghetti into everything you could ever want in a mid-August meal.
This is my platonic ideal of a corn fritter: crunchy, golden brown, and mostly sweet corn kernels with just the tiniest amount of batter to tether them together. These have scallions, chives, and cheddar and they're exquisite (with a dab of mayo, if you dare) but I've suggested at least four other flavor combinations (mm, cacio e pepe, miso-scallion...) I didn't get to -- yet. Corn season is just beginning, after all, so have fun with this.
This strata with corn, scallions, cheddar, and sourdough is a summer favorite for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It reheats gorgeously, if you want to plan ahead for a delicious weekend.
This is my favorite corn chowder: a hearty soup with beans instead of the usual potatoes, with a rich and salty lime and cheese finish, plus baked tortilla chips on the side for all the crunch.
An easy pasta angling to be a summer staple -- quick, kid-friendly, welcoming of adaptations, and leaving us more time to do more urgent summer things, like being absolutely, spectacularly lazy.
ALL TOGETHER NOW! 🤝
Among iconic summer dishes, this tomato and corn pie is the undisputed champion. Every bite screams summer. Gourmet updated the Laurie Colwin and James Beard classic in 2009 with market-fresh corn and a biscuit-like crust and the result is so good, nobody will be talking about anything else.
I bet this layered and complex summer vegetable feast from Bryant Terry -- crispy smashed potatoes, slow-cooked onions, a spicy pea sauce, and an unforgettable corn relish -- will become an instant summer favorite for you, too. If you make nothing else, make the corn relish because you’re going to want to put it on everything from toasts to tacos to salads.
I always thought succotash was one of those dishes parents made to trick kids into eating lima beans until I tried the late Gourmet's version. In it, shell beans, sweet corn, spicy arugula, crisp salty bacon, croutons and a glug of sherry vinegar transform into a sweet, crunchy, salty, zingy, blissful bold bowl of summer.
In honor of my daughter’s 8th birthday today, this is the cake I made for her first, all peaches and sour cream and vanilla with a nod to her nickname. The smash cake is optional, sure, but have we considered adding these to grown-up birthdays too?
Ever wonder where I get my cutting boards, paring knives, offset spatulas and more than you see when I cook? I've created a page on Smitten Kitchen with links to some of my favorite kitchen items, the ones I'm asked about the most. I recently added several new favorites I’ve bought in the last year. For each item, I've attempted to provide a range of shopping links so we're not just focusing on one giant retailer.
See you next week!