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Here we are, in the midst of summer, with an abundance of fresh produce available. Three popular vegetables that thrive in late summer are tomatoes, corn, and zucchini. Whether you have a garden or access to a farmer’s market, these vegetables are likely piling up in your kitchen. Here are some tips on how to best enjoy them:

TOMATOES

Tomatoes are incredibly versatile in the kitchen. They can be used in a variety of dishes, both raw and cooked. Heirloom tomatoes, in particular, are known for their unique flavors and diverse varieties. When selecting tomatoes, look for firm ones with a pleasant fragrance near the stem. Avoid tomatoes with cracks or cuts, brown spots, or bruises. If a tomato is getting too soft, you can refrigerate it to extend its shelf life.

ZUCCHINI AND SUMMER SQUASH

Zucchini and summer squash are often treated as vegetables in cooking, but they’re technically fruits. When choosing these vegetables, opt for firm ones with smooth skin. Smaller squash tend to have better flavor and texture. Zucchini and summer squash can be cooked in various ways, such as sautéing, steaming, frying, or baking. They are also great in salads and can be spiralized into noodles as a healthy pasta alternative.

CORN

Fresh corn is a staple during summer, and there are many ways to enjoy it. Look for ears of corn with firm and taut kernels. Boiling corn on the cob is a classic method, but you can also sauté or grill the kernels for different flavors and textures. Use corn in salads, fritters, puddings, chowders, or as a topping for Mexican street corn. Don’t forget to experiment with different spices and seasonings to enhance the taste.

If you’re looking for a delicious recipe that includes both corn and zucchini, try making corn and zucchini fritters. This recipe combines the sweetness of corn with the mild flavor of zucchini, creating a perfect summer side dish or appetizer.

Corn and Zucchini Fritters

Yield: 6 people

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 ears of corn
  • 1 small zucchini
  • ½ cup light or heavy cream or half and half
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • About ½ cup vegetable or canola oil for pan-frying the fritters

Directions:

  1. Place the corn in a large pot with about 1 inch of water. Simmer for about 4 minutes until the corn is just cooked. Let it cool, then slice the kernels off the cob.
  2. Dice the zucchini into 1/4-inch cubes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cream, eggs, shallots, flour, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Stir in the corn and zucchini. Let the batter sit for 20 to 30 minutes at room temperature.
  4. In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Spoon the batter by the tablespoonful into the skillet, and cook for 2 minutes on each side until browned and crisp. Transfer the cooked fritters to a plate lined with paper towels.
  5. Serve hot, and continue frying until all the batter is used.

Enjoy the abundance of late-summer produce, and don’t be afraid to get creative in the kitchen!

*** Unique Perspective ***

Late summer is a time when gardens and farmer’s markets are overflowing with fresh produce. Tomatoes, corn, and zucchini are three popular vegetables that are prominent during this season. From heirloom tomatoes to sweet corn and versatile zucchini, there are endless possibilities for delicious meals. Whether you prefer them raw or cooked, these vegetables add a burst of flavor to any dish. So, make the most of the late summer bounty and enjoy the vibrant colors and tastes nature has to offer.

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