Why We Love: Summer!

by in View All Posts, July 28th, 2009

Food-wise, this is absolutely the best time of year. If a day goes by in July or August, and I realize I haven’t eaten sweet corn and/or tomatoes, I think of it as an opportunity lost. These foods drive me crazy! I love them, I crave them, and they’re only in season for the blink of an eye.

Yes, I know, grocery store magic makes corn and tomatoes available all year, but they only taste like they’re supposed to taste when you eat them straight from the farmers’ market. As a former farm stand worker, here are a few insider market tips:


  • Corn: As soon as you pick an ear of corn the sugars begin to turn into starch and the flavor deteriorates. So, find a farm stand where they pick their corn fresh every morning, then try to eat the corn the day you buy it (or at most, one day later). And resist the urge to shuck it at the market – the husk protects the corn from drying out.
  • Tomatoes: Taste them. I find that it’s hard to tell what a tomato will taste like by looking at it on the outside. If a farm stand has samples, try a piece. If not, buy a small tomato, go home and eat it, and if it’s good go back for more. And more, and more and more! Truly great tomatoes are rare and precious fruits.

pasta_3Of course, I loaded up our summer Web features with recipes and tips for seasonal produce, and one of my favorites is Anne Burrell’s Web-exclusive video, “Why We Love: Corn.” Her recipe for Tagliatelle with Corn and Cherry Tomatoes makes a quick, simple dinner – a wonderful way to showcase the flavors of the season and a perfect recipe for our 5 Weeknight Dinners feature.

corn-spoon-breadHere are some more seasonal recipes on my “to make soon” list – try them while you can!
Corn: Corn-Bacon Spoon Bread from the Food Network Magazine (pictured)
Tomatoes: Alex’s Tomato and Watermelon Salad
Zucchini: Paula’s Squash Casserole (one of the most popular squash recipes on our site!)
Peaches: Paula’s Peach Cobbler (Our #1 cobbler recipe)
Plums: Sunny’s Open-Faced Plum Tart (This looks super simple and delicious!)

Do you have any market tips or must-try summer recipes? We’d love to hear about them!

Kirsten, Web Editor

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Comments (9)

  1. Bill_Kos says:

    The first photo of the corn, tomatoes and pasta is way too blue to the point of being unappetizing. Then, the photo at the recipe page is way too red. (Look at the plate in both)

    See it with some blue removed: http://bit.ly/f5pYo

  2. Kate Smith says:

    We made this tonight ~ Several of us weren't at all sure about corn + pasta before we dug in, but four out of five of us liked it (Hayley's not a tomato fan at all, though she did compliment the flavors in the dish). I would've reduced the liquid (maybe we had overly juicy tomatoes; the final "sauce" was very thin) and upped the seasoning, but I still really liked it. A refreshing summer treat!

  3. Robin Koury says:

    I'm a total corn and tomato addict! I try to incorporate both into as many meals or side dishes as possible this time of year. I have to say my favorite way to enjoy fresh corn is grilled – When exposed to the grill it almost caramelizes the exterior of the corn only adding to the sweetness and combined with a little spice infused butter it is out of this world delicious! Anne's corn and tomato tagliatelle looks divine and just might find its way to my dinner table tonight!! Thanks so much for sharing!!

  4. Another great article, Kirsten!

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