The bounty of a summer garden makes us understand the appeal of canning (kind of).
But some things — like freckled noses, sandy toes, and corn off the cob — are best enjoyed in season.
We turn to Katie Morford of Mom’s Kitchen Handbook for this month’s recipe. A food writer, registered dietitian, and mother of three, Morford is an expert at turning fresh food into family-friendly meals. And her simple shopping tips help get you in the can-do spirit.
For tomatoes, you can always ask for a taste, even at the supermarket. The fruit should look as colorful on the inside as it does on the outside. Ideally, find tomatoes with some of the stem still attached. A bright green stem indicates that the tomato was picked fairly recently. For corn, buy cobs with the silks and husks still intact. Look for green husks that don’t look brown or dried out. Peel back the husk a little to see that the kernels look plump; pop one out to taste it. Good corn should taste good even when it’s raw.
Summer in a Bowl Spaghetti
1 lb. dried spaghetti
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 lg. cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 med. zucchini, cut into ½-inch dice
3 ears corn, shucked and cut off cob
3 lg. ripe tomatoes, cut into ½-inch dice
1/3 c. fresh basil, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh mint, finely chopped
½ med. lemon
1 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Sm. chunk Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano)
1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions until al dente. Strain.
2. While pasta cooks, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes until soft but not brown. Don’t let it burn.
3. Turn heat up to medium high and add zucchini. Saute for about 1 minute. Add corn and continue to cook until vegetables are just tender, another 2-3 minutes.
4. Remove pan from heat and add remaining olive oil, tomatoes, basil, and mint. Squeeze juice from lemon over vegetables; add salt and a few turns with pepper grinder. Stir well.
5. Add cooked spaghetti to pan and use tongs to thoroughly mix pasta with sauce. Taste and add more salt and/or pepper if needed.
6. Divide into bowls and top with freshly grated Parmesan as generously as you like.
For more dinner inspiration, go to momskitchenhandbook.com.
Photo: Courtesy of Mom Kitchen Handbook