Tuesday, August 23, 2011

CSA Week 9- Summer Corn Love

These weeks are flying by.  I'm already at CSA Week 9!
I know I say this every week, but the amount of produce is getting insane.  This doesn't even show everything we got!!
 Peaches, Green Beans, Tomatoes (5), Corn (4), Cucumbers (too many to count), Broccoli (4), Green Pepper, Arugula, Swiss Chard, Japanese Eggplant, Eggplant, Romaine Lettuce.

I still had corn from last week so I KNEW I had to make Joanne's Corn Pesto.  It was singing out to me :)!  And pretty simple!  
Corn Pesto with Rice Pasta
  • 2 bacon slices, cut into small pieces
  • 4 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 6 large ears)
  • 1 summer squash, cut down the middle and half mooned
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces rice pasta or pasta of your choice
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, diced (this is totally optional- I had it so I added it in)
  • 3/4 cup coarsely torn fresh basil leaves, divided
  • Instructions:
  • Cook bacon in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp and brown then transfer to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon drippings from skillet. Saute summer squash for a few minutes until cooked through then remove to a plate.  Add corn, garlic, 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper to drippings in skillet. Sauté over medium-high heat until corn mixture is just tender but not brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer all but 1 1/2 cups corn kernels to small bowl and reserve. Place the rest of the corn mixture into processor. Add 1/2 cup Parmesan and pine nuts. With machine running, add olive oil through feed tube and blend until pesto is almost smooth. Set pesto aside.
    Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions. Return pasta to pot. Add corn pesto, reserved corn kernels, and 1/2 cup basil leaves, and add in the summer squash. Toss pasta mixture over medium heat until warmed through, adding reserved pasta cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls to thin to desired consistency, 2 to 3 minutes. Season pasta to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer pasta to large shallow bowl. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup basil leaves and reserved bacon. 
    I served this with a make your own caprese salad with farm tomatoes and basil.  Mmmm....
I don't think I will ever get enough of this combination.  Summer tomatoes... please don't end...

The next recipe I made was Corn Cakes.  I saw a recipe like this in Everyday Food and also on We are Not Martha and I couldn't wait to make them myself.  I adapted the recipe quite a bit and added a little twist- my favorite seasoning: Creole Seasoning.  If you don't have this spice, you should buy it.  It transforms ANY dish in my opinion. This is the one I have!  I'm obsessed!!!   : )
With the addition of my secret ingredient, I absolutely adored these little cakes.  They pack a ton of flavor and I enjoyed every bite : )
PS- curious what's in creole seasoning?  Or don't have it?  USE THIS!
salt, garlic powder, pepper, cayenne pepper and paprika!
I served these cakes with an impulse buy at the grocery store- cajun marinated shrimp skewers FOR $1.50!!! SCORE!  
Back to the cakes...
Creole Spiced Corn Cakes
2 tablespoons of EVOO
3 cups of corn (3-4 ears)
1 small zucchini, grated
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
salt and pepper
creole seasoning (to taste)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 eggs
1/4 cup of cornmeal
1/3 cup of feta cheese
Heat oil in a skillet and add corn and zucchini, season with a bit of salt and pepper.  Cook for a few minutes until vegetables are soft. Put corn and zucchini in bowl to cool then add the peppers, scallions, eggs, cornmeal, feta cheese and creole seasoning.  Stir well.  
At the same time, clean out your skillet and add another tablespoon or so of either olive oil or canola oil.  Form cakes out of the corn mixture and drop them into the hot oil.  Cook for about 4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.  I served my cakes along some cajun shrimp skewers!
I loved the depth of flavor from these cakes!  Some recipes I looked at called for jalapenos, but I always tend to make things too hot when I used jalapenos.  That's why I love Creole Seasoning!  It adds the punch without wiping out the rest of the flavors.  I wanted to enhance the sweet corn, not hide or ruin it. And it worked!

 If you are looking for a way to use up your summer corn and you're sick of grilling it, try these recipes out.  They were great!

What's the most unique way you've used farm fresh corn?


  1. I love caprese salad too and wish tomato season would never end.

    I made a corn pesto a long time ago... that might be the most unique way. I love scraping it off the cob and putting it in salads or pastas though.

  2. That caprese salad looks wonderful and I love the look of those corn cakes

  3. All these are great especially those corn cakes! yum! We're hosting an online seasonal potluck and August is corn month! I'd love it if you'd link up your recipes! http://bit.ly/eLlgG2

  4. I have a bunch of corn to use this week - that pesto looks great - might be dinner tonight!

  5. Corn pesto is such an interesting idea! I've really enjoyed reading your CSA posts and noticing the differences between our boxes! I got a pumplin this week (!?!?!)

  6. OMG, I've been obsessed with corn lately. Totally making the corn pesto this weekend!!

  7. Mmm, made corn pesto last year and loved it... must do those corn cakes, they've been on my mind since I saw them over at WANM! (ha. i can't believe i just acronym'd that instead of typing it all...)

  8. It appears to me as though you are the best cook ever...and yet you haven't come to NYC to cook for me. Why? Please feed me. I love you.

  9. Yum! Those corn cakes look fabulous...kinda kicking myself for not participating in a CSA. I do love corn but I'm not too creative. The other day I boiled it and cut it off the cob and just mixed it with a few spoonfuls of salsa in a bowl. Yum.

  10. Those corn cakes look divine! And I totally agree with the corn pesto. Best ever