For now, though, there's not too much of anything. For one thing, the tomatoes on my plants all remain resolutely green, so the only tomatoes are what's at the farmer's market. For another, I was very restrained and only planted 3 zephyr squash plants, in the hopes of avoiding a glut of squash. And it's true that I can't drive past my favorite farm stand without stopping, so I often have more corn than I know what to do with on any given day, but that doesn't feel particularly oppressive, just bountiful. (One reason I love summer food (and living by myself) is that, if I want to, I can eat a couple of pieces of corn on the cob while standing around in my kitchen, and call it dinner. Yum.)
Tonight, I made one of my summer stand byes, taken from a 2004 Mark Bittman "Minimalist" column in the NY Times. What I love about it, besides that it's delicious, is that it requires bits of things rather than volumes of things. I used 3 ears of corn (of course from my favorite farm stand), 3 farmer's market tomatoes, 1 zephyr squash from my community garden, one onion of unknown origins, 1 clove of farmer's market garlic (though mine is just about ready to be picked) and a handful of basil from my garden at home--it felt like a very egalitarian dinner. It's not the prettiest dish (though the tomatoes give everything a faint pink tinge) nor the most elegant, but on a humid July evening, it's the perfect thing to eat. And even better, there are lots of leftovers, so I can eat it again tomorrow, and I won't even have to get the stove all dirty again.
Adapted from The New York Times
PASTA WITH CORN, ZUCCHINI AND TOMATOES
Time: 30 minutes
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or 2 tablespoons oil and 1 tablespoon butter
1 cup corn kernels (from 2 or 3 ears)
1 cup diced zucchini or summer squash (from 2 or 3 small vegetables)
1 medium onion or 3 or 4 shallots, diced
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic, optional
1 or 2 sprigs tarragon (I used basil instead)
4 plum or 2 large tomatoes, diced
1 pound cut pasta, like penne. (I used something fancy and twirly.)
1. Set a large pot of water to boil and salt it. Put 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add corn. Cook, stirring occasionally, until corn begins to brown. Add zucchini and some salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini begins to brown.
2. Add onion or shallots and garlic if you are using it. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add tarragon and cook for 30 seconds, then tomatoes. Put pasta in boiling water and cook until tender but not mushy, 10 to 15 minutes.
3. While pasta cooks continue to cook sauce, reducing heat when tomatoes begin to break down. If sauce dries out (with plum tomatoes, this is likely), add some pasta cooking water, about 1/2 cup at a time. When pasta is done, drain it, toss with sauce and remaining oil or butter, and serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings.