Tomatoes and Corn … At long last… The Farmers market’s are abundant with them in August.
Like all things grown, they take their own sweet time to let us know they are ready… It’s only then do we get the pleasure of appreciating their full complexity of flavor and sublime sweetness… OH, this is what a tomato tastes like…
My inspiration for a dish comes from an ingredient that the season has to offer. It is from that point of view I create a dish.
Here are two recipes that compliment each other and speak to this philosophy.
The corn soup has only five ingredients, yet ,it is layered with so much richness and sweetness.
Crunchy quinoa burgers and farm ripe tomatoes , with a mint ailoi, pair nicely for a Saturday Lunch, Sunday Brunch, or the best reason, for no reason at all.
Inside Out Crunchy Quinoa Burgers with A Mint Aioli
Makes 8 Burgers
1 cup tri color Quinoa ( first toasted, then cooked)
1 onion chopped finely
1 clove garlic ( minced)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon sea salt, taste and add more if desired
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 tbs tapioca starch
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon parsley ( chopped)
1/8 cup fresh mint ( chopped in thin slices, aka, chiffonade)
1/2 lime juice, plus zest
1/2 tsp coriander, tasted,then ground to a powder ( all spices can be done together )
1’2 tsp cumin seeds, toasted,then ground to a powder
1/2 tsp fennel seeds, toasted, then ground to a powder
3 tablespoons canola Oil, or Ghee ( for frying)
1 tablespoon unsalted Butter ( optional)
1 ripe tomato, sliced thin,for serving
1 cup romaine lettuce, chopped ( or other Lettuce)
Aioli recipe ( to follow)
- Rinse quinoa in a strainer and lay out on a towel. Then in a sauce pan , over medium- high heat , toast quinoa ,until the aroma starts to permeate. ( 3-4 minutes)
- Pour 2 cups of water over quinoa. Stir once. Bring water and quinoa to a boil and simmer covered for about 20 minutes or until all water is absorbed. If adding butter, add it to quinoa and let rest with paper towel over quinoa then cover it with the lid for 5 minutes. Fluff quinoa with fork. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl add cooled quinoa and rest of ingredients and stir until well blended. Let sit for a few minutes.
- Make quinoa burger’s with your hands, about 3 inches round and 1 inch high. I like to use 3” cookie cutter for consistent shape.
- In hot large nonstick skillet add canola oil,or Ghee, then add quinoa burgers, In batches if necessary,and cook each side until golden brown and crispy, about 5-7 minutes on each side.
- To assemble. Place one quinoa burger in center of plate. place a small amount of aioli on top ,to keep tomato from sliding. Top with tomato and lettuces. Spoon 1 tbs Aioli on top, and cover with one more quinoa burger. Top with more Aioli, and sprinkle mint Chiffonade over burger and around plate.
Aioli – measure out 3/4 cup canola & olive oil.( Or use one oil.) 1 egg yolk. Make sure the egg is room temperature ,like the oil. Put egg yolk in a bowl, Start whisking, adding one drop of oil at a time. Once you’ve added 1/2 the oil and it feels pretty solid, add the rest a little faster, whisking vigorously all the while. Add a couple of drops of lemon juice and salt to taste. Taste again.
Silky Sweet Corn Soup with Minced Herbs
makes 8 bowls
When using ingredients at the peak of their season you don’t need many, just the right few.
This sweet delicious soup demonstrates that.
Makes 8 bowls
8 ears of corn, husks,stalks,and silk removed
8 tbs of butter ( 4 ounces)
2 yellow onions, sliced thin
Salt to taste ( start with1 tsp)
1 tsp minced herbs, of choice ( for garnish)
lime juice ( optioanal)
In a large stainless steel mixing bowl, place a small towel or paper towel on the bottom, to hold corn in place upright. With your other hand, use a serrated knife to cut off three rows of the kernels at a time. Get as close to the cob as you can. You want to leave some behind for the stock. Save the cobs.
In a soup pot, make a corn stock. Cover the cobs with 8 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Remove cobs , and set stock aside.
Return the pot to the stove and heat over medium heat. Add the butter. Once it is melted, reduce heat to low, then add sliced onions and cook slowly, until they are translucent and completely soft. ( about 20 minutes)
If the onions are starting to brown add a bit of water. You want them blond in color. Continue to add bits of water if need be. Stir occasionally. Keep an eye on the pan , as not to over cook.
When the onions are cooked, add the corn kernels. Raise the heat to medium- high and saut’e until kernels are a bright shade of yellow. About 4-5 minutes. Add just enough stock to cover corn and onions, and raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Lower heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt. Taste and adjust salt if need be. Take a small amount of corn kernels for garnish and set aside.
With an immersion blender, ( or other blender in batches) carefully blend the soup until it is pureed. For a really silky texture, strain the soup one more time through a fine-mesh sieve. I recommend this last step.
Taste the soup for salt, sweetness, and acidic balance. If it is flatly sweet , add a tiny bit of lime juice, or white vinegar,to balance the soup out.
I recommend taking a spoon full out and adding your acid,or salt, before adding it to the whole batch. Then adjust.
This soup can be served, warm, hot,or chilled. If making quinoa burgers, garnish with some crunchy quinoa, crumbled, finely minced red pepper flakes ( optional) and a few corn kernels. Herbs such as cilantro, basil,or tarragon will go nicely as well. Sprinkle on top of bowled soup.
Alternative to quinoa , fried minced shallots. Fry in a bit of butter , until brown and crispy.