Recipe Links: Wisconsin Week 12, Chicago Week 10

 1. Organic sweet corn, 2. Poona koona cucumbers, 3. Zucchini, 4. Tomatoes, 5. Bright lights chard, 6. Kohlrabi, 7. Lebanese white squash, 8. Kentucky wonder pole beans, 9. Patty pan squash, 10. Parsley, 11. Heirloom melons, 12. H19 cucumbers

1. Organic sweet corn, 2. Poona koona cucumbers, 3. Zucchini, 4. Tomatoes, 5. Bright lights chard, 6. Kohlrabi, 7. Lebanese white squash, 8. Kentucky wonder pole beans, 9. Patty pan squash, 10. Parsley, 11. Heirloom melons, 12. H19 cucumbers

 This time last week, I was paddling cross Clearwater Lake in the Minnesotan Boundary Waters, headed back to civilization and fresh food. It was the end of 5 days of pristine wilderness, canoeing, and dehydrated boil-in-bag foods. Although we often take our shares with us on camping excursions, the demands of this trip called for something different. Needless to say, I was ever-so-anxious to bring home our share this week and dive back into good, fresh foods.  

Sweet corn

Since grilled corn is itself quite delicious, I thought I'd toss in this list of flavorings for hot corn I found in Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything, pg. 289. 

  1. Grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese
  2. Freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice (especially with a few dashes of hot sauce)
  3.  Hot red pepper flakes or cayenne
  4. Finely chopped pumpkin, sunflower, or sesame seeds
  5. Finely chopped nuts, like hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, or peanuts
  6. Minced fresh herbs, like parsley, mint, chervil, or chives
  7. Any compound butter or simply more butter!
  8. Any spice blend, especially chaat masala or chili powder
  9. Seaweed "shake" (a blend of toasted, crumbled seaweed, sesame seeds, salt, and hot pepper)
  10. Mashed roasted garlic

Charred corn salad with basil vinaigrette A simple and delicious salad for a hot summer day barbecue. 

Sauteed Corn, Green Onion, and Shitaake Mushrooms If I can stop myself from just slapping all the fresh corn on the grill, this is the recipe I'm definitely going to try. Corn is such a delicious counterpoint to earthy, savory flavors. I can't say I'd have thought to combine it with shitaake mushrooms, but the pairing makes a lot of sense, especially with the crisp, green flavor of the scallions.

Cucumbers: Poona koona, H19

Japanese-style pickled cucumbers with seaweed and sesame Add some marine vegetables to your cucumbers for a nutritious, Japanese-style side dish. I'd try it with some simply prepared fish and a pile of steamed rice. (Or, for an easier night, maybe as a homemade side to take-out sushi).

Spiced cucumbers and coconut milk This quick-prep dish has me perplexed, but intrigued. Seldom has the combination of coconut milk, chilies, and cilantro failed me, so I'm adding this to my list. 

Tomato and cucumber salad, from The New Persian Kitchen, pg. 59

3 or 4 medium cucumbers, sliced in half lengthwise
2 medium to large tomatoes, diced
1/2 white or yellow onion, diced
2 tbsp dried mint
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Seed and dice the cucumbers, and combine them with the tomatoes and onion. Hold your hands over the salad and rub the mint between your pals so that the oils in our skin activate the flavor.

Add the lime juice, season with salt and pepper, and stir gently into the mix. Serve immediately. 

Storage tip: Having trouble keeping up with the cucumbers this season? Try freezing them! Slice the cucumbers  bit on the thick side, about a 1/4 inch or so and lay the slices out on a baking sheet. Stick the sheet in the freezer until the cucumber slices are frozen, then transfer the slices to a ziplock bag. They make a great substitute for ice cubes in a tall glass of water or in a green smoothie. 

Tomatoes

Pasta with tomato water, basil, and garlic This recipe looks simply perfect. Fresh tomatoes atop a bed of perfectly cooked pasta epitomize summer eating in many ways; yet, that fresh tomato flavor doesn't always come through when I prepare dishes like this at home. I think this recipe may solve that by harnessing the flavor of the tomato juices that otherwise just sit at the bottom of the bowl.

Grilled Salsa I think I'll be making this salsa this week while I grill a few ears of corn. The smoky grill char and slow-cooked garlic sound like perfect additions to a salsa. 

Panzanella salad The author of this article provides a detailed rundown of the various ingredients often included in a panzanella salad. If you're in a hurry, scroll to the end for the final recipe.

Bright Lights chard

White beans with Swiss chard and rice Simple, comforting flavors mark this recipe. I wouldn't skimp on the Parmesan rind if you can find one; it will add an incomparable depth of savory flavor.

Pancetta, white bean, and chard pot pies Comfort food, with a powerful nutritional punch. You may want to hang onto this one for a cooler, rainy evening, but I think any pot pie is worth hating the kitchen up over.

Kohlrabi

Greek-Style Kohlrabi Dill Pie I made a version of this recipe inspired by spinach-feta pie last year and couldn’t get enough of it. The dill complements the brassica flavor of the kohlrabi perfectly and the feta adds a needed saltiness. I placed the filling in a whole-wheat pie crust instead of phyllo dough, adding a little more milk for moisture. It came out beautifully and was simpler than dealing with phyllo.

Summer squash: Zucchini, White Lebanese squash, Patty pan squash

Raw squash salad with radishes, Manchego, and lemon vinaigrette This recipe highlights the squashiness of raw patty pans and zucchinis by leaving them raw and offsetting them with the punch of spicy radish. 

Zucchini strands with mint This barely warmed zucchini would make an excellent side to a summer dinner. With few steps and a short ingredient list, it should be an easy addition to any menu.

Zucchini, caper, and herb linguine Capers, garlic, and crushed red pepper add savory spice to this fresh zucchini pasta. 

Fresh beans: Kentucky wonder, dragon tongue

Green bean salad with lime vinaigrette and red quinoa We had this for dinner last night. I didn't have almonds or chives, so I left them out. If you have them or are already headed to the store, I think they'd add to the dish, but it was quite satisfying without them as well. 

Storage tip: A quick dunk in boiling water prepares green beans for freezing if you start to get behind on your share. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a couple generous pinches of salt, and drop in your beans. Boil until the beans are bright green and tender-crisp. Then drain and cool the beans using an ice water bath. Dry them off, bag them up, and store in the freezer until you're ready for them. 

Parsley

Lemony rice-parsley salad Think parsley can't play a starring role in a dish? Think again. Parsley is packed with nutrients and lends a crisp, green flavor to this side dish.

Pear and proscuitto pasta Although parsley isn't named in the recipe title, it no doubt plays a significant supporting role in this recipe posted by Karen Ebert. 

Heirloom melons

Cantaloupe cucumber salad with basil and feta Watermelon and feta salads captivated the imagination of food bloggers a couple years ago and this salad isn't too far off. I imagine the slightly earthier flavors of heirloom cantaloupe would play even better with the salty feta.

Summer greens and melon salad This week's chard would be great in a melon salad--just think of all the colors! Serve as a refreshing summer side or as a light meal with some bread and cheese.