This weekend I did something I’ve been wanting to do ever since I started this blog. I became the proud owner of a digital SLR camera! Pete suggested that for my birthday, coming up later this month, we go camera shopping—he’s such a wonderful husband!! I had done a little research online and sort of knew what I wanted, so off to the camera shop we went.
Sure I was going to end up with a Canon or Nikon, I fell in love with the Olympus, which fit perfectly in my hand and had a few features I really liked that the others didn’t. Pretty easy decision—no agonizing involved, thank goodness. Thinking Pete would hide it away when we got home to give to me on my birthday, I was prepared to anxiously wait, but he insisted I start using it right away—didn’t I say he was wonderful?
I have never used a DSLR before and have a ton to learn. But I’m sure having fun in the process! The first few photos were of Otis; he posed so patiently.
Then, after a trip to the farmers’ market Sunday morning, I had new subjects—my bounty of fresh veggies and fruit that I was excited to make into photo-worthy dishes.
First up, corn cakes that just taste like summer. Corn is definitely the star ingredient and really good corn is now in abundance at the market. The roasted zucchini salsa is the perfect complement to the cakes, and it adds plenty of punch if you include some of the seeds from the jalapeno.
A trick you may already know, but was new to me this summer, makes cutting the kernels from the ears of corn much less of a mess. After shucking the corn and removing the silk, leave a bit of stalk on the bottom of the cob. Grab your Bundt pan from the cupboard and put the stalk in the hole in the middle of the pan. Hold the ear, and slice the kernels off with a serrated knife. The corn kernels fall so nicely into the pan and don’t go scampering across your cutting board, countertop, and onto the floor like they used to (at least that was my experience!).
Corn Cakes with Roasted Zucchini Salsa
Adapted from Naturally Ella
Roasted Zucchini Salsa:
2 cups cubed zucchini
½ medium red onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, minced (include some of the seeds if you want a kick!)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
½ to ¾ of a red onion, chopped
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kernels sliced from 2-3 ears of corn
2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon agave or honey
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
Several handfuls of arugula
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Toss zucchini with onion, jalapeno, olive oil, and salt and place in a shallow baking dish. Roast until zucchini has turned slightly brown, 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and toss with lime juice and cilantro. Set aside.
Heat a skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. When oil is hot, add onions and cook until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add corn kernels and sauté another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place mixture in a bowl and add whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, egg, agave, lime juice, salt, and cilantro; stir until well combined. Refrigerate mixture for an hour or so.
Form mixture into 6 patties. Heat last tablespoon of olive oil in skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Place patties in pan. Don’t crowd them—make them in two batches, if necessary. Cook 3-4 minutes, until bottoms are nicely browned, flip, and cook the other side for about 3 more minutes, until evenly browned.
Divide arugula among three plates. Place two corn cakes on each pile of arugula. Top with spoonsful of zucchini salsa. For a smaller, appetizer portion, divide among six plates and place one cake on each, before topping with salsa. Makes six corn cakes.