During the summer and fall months, the local farmers markets serve as my meal planner. I show up on Wednesdays and Saturdays sans grocery list and let the local, in-season produce tell me what's for dinner. This week, several colorful items piqued my interest: cherry tomatoes, bi-color corn, an array of organic berries and stone fruit, an abundance of brightly colored radishes and fermented condiments from Super Belly Ferments.
Making weekend meals is one of my favorite pastimes with my two year old. We can spend hours prepping, washing, mixing and chopping without time constraints. She's a wonderful help with some of the more tedious work—hulling strawberries with her plastic knife, pulling cilantro leaves one-by-one from the stems and patting dry each berry.
Together we prepared a grilled corn salad dressed in a chipotle ranch dressing. It's fermented, dairy free and delivers a kick of flavor that even a toddler can appreciate. A grilled tenderloin or Bavette steak served atop this summer salad creates a meal in itself! And, of course, we never skip dessert on Sundays; we turned our fresh berries into a decadent buttermilk cobbler!
Grilled Corn Salad
3 ears of corn
2 large avocado
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese
Super Belly Chipotle RanchChopped cilantro, to taste
Squeeze of one lime
1 tsp salt
Grill your corn on an outdoor grill, about seven minutes on each side, on medium heat. Meanwhile, dice the avocados and season with a pinch of salt and half of your lime juice. In a separate bowl, add thinly-sliced radishes, chopped cilantro, halved cherry tomatoes and a pinch of salt. Once your corn is ready, carefully cut the kernels from the cob using a sawing motion (try placing it upside down on a surface that won't slip or move). Combine with your seasoned vegetables and add the chipotle ranch. Then, carefully mix in your avocado without smashing it.
Summer Fruit Cobbler
For the batter:
1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
3 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°. Rinse and pat dry fruit and combine in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Sprinkle first with sugar and then with corn starch, ensuring that all fruit is covered. Slowly pour melted butter over the fruit and lightly fold. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. I let my daughter whisk together the salt and baking powder while I sift the flour and sugar. Add 1/3 of your milk and butter to your dry mix and gently fold. Continue until you have a lumpy batter. Try adding your vanilla to the melted butter for a consistent distribution and a lovely vanilla aroma throughout the kitchen.
In a degreased baking dish (I use a ceramic casserole dish, but an 8x8 pan will work), add your berry compote and then top with your batter. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the top of the cobbler becomes golden brown. Let cool and set aside to be served ala mode or topped with fresh whipped cream. Serves 6.