corn & basil salad

Featured in Greenwich Lifestyle magazine – July 2020

Everyone loves corn in the summer- it’s sweet, savory, and genuinely makes people happy!

We are all familiar with the preparation of the summer classic “corn on the cob” but an even better way to highlight this popular summer vegetable is is to make a beautiful, bright corn salad.

Corn & Basil Salad
Few things represent summer more than fresh corn and basil

This simple, delicious recipe is sure to be the star side dish at your next bar-b-que. (Better still, it’s a great way to use up all that basil that is starting to peak!) Corn & basil salad is a fantastic way to highlight the best of our local summer produce and herbs. The perfect complement to any summer gathering.

Feaster’s Tip: You can make it ahead. Here is how.

  1. Cook, prep & refrigerate the corn.
  2. In a separate container, make the dressing, omitting the basil, and refrigerate.
  3. About an hour before serving the salad, dress the corn being careful not to overdress (you may have extra dressing).
  4. Right before serving add the basil so it stays crisp and retains its color.
Corn & Basil Salad
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

Corn and Basil salad is the perfect side dish for a your next barbecue

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 5
Ingredients
  • 5 ears of corn shucked clean
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup julienned fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the corn for 3 minutes until the starchiness is just gone. Drain and immerse it in ice water to stop the cooking and to set the color. When the corn is cool, cut the kernels off the cob, cutting close to the cob.
  2. Mix together in small bowl vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Gently combine kernels (and tomatoes, if using) with the vinaigrette.

  4. Just before serving, toss in the fresh basil. Taste for seasonings and serve cold or at room temperature.

corn & basil salad salad

Ilove most vegetables…corn is not one of them! I think it’s over used, always over cooked (but that’s a subject for a whole other post!) and makes a mess! However, this corn salad is a staple when we bbq, attend a picnic or just want a break from the standard summer pasta salads – it’s my go-to summer salad recipe and I just love it! In recognition of this Labor Day weekend and all the Backyard BBQ’s and boating trips we will all be enjoying, I wanted to share this simple, delicious recipe with you! It’s sure to hit the spot!

Corn & Basil Salad
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

Corn and Basil salad is the perfect side dish for a your next barbecue

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 5
Ingredients
  • 5 ears of corn shucked clean
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup julienned fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the corn for 3 minutes until the starchiness is just gone. Drain and immerse it in ice water to stop the cooking and to set the color. When the corn is cool, cut the kernels off the cob, cutting close to the cob.
  2. Mix together in small bowl vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Gently combine kernels (and tomatoes, if using) with the vinaigrette.

  4. Just before serving, toss in the fresh basil. Taste for seasonings and serve cold or at room temperature.

fried zucchini flowers

Fried zucchini flowers are a special, Italian, seasonal treat and one of my all time favorite things to eat.

fried zucchini flowers

Zucchini plants produce large, beautiful flowers for the bees to come and pollinate which results in gorgeous zucchini fruit. But they have another wonderful purpose on this earth- for eating! You occasionally can find zucchini flowers available in a specialty food store but I have never seen them look fresh enough to purchase. I do order them at select restaurants at select times of year, but really, nothing compares to picking your own and frying them up within minutes of picking.

The Recipe

Fried Zucchini Flowers
Ingredients
  • Zucchini Flowers
  • Olive Oil
  • All Purpose Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cayenne pepper and/or paprika (optional)
  • Fleur de sel
Instructions
  1. If you are picking your own zucchini flowers, pick the flowers when they are a healthy size, have not yet begun to wilt and are closed. Gently twist the bottom and pull out the insides of the flower. It should come out in one piece like in the picture here. 

  2. Heat oil just to frying temperature. (Don’t let it smoke! It’s ready when it takes one minute to fry a cube of bread or you can see the oil start to swirl on it’s own.) 

  3. In a medium size bowl, season the flour with kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, paprika and a dash of cayenne pepper.

  4. Whisk 2 eggs in a separate bowl.

  5. Dredge the flowers in the flour, shake off excess flour and dip in the egg.

  6. Fry for about 2 minutes on one side and about 1 minute on the other side. (They fry very quickly so don’t walk away! Fry just long enough to cook off the egg and flour and produce a crispy flower.)

  7. Drain on paper towel and season immediately with a sprinkle of flour del sel.  Enjoy hot.

stuffed brussel sprouts

Icame across this gem of a recipe for stuffed Brussel Sprouts by Jerry James Stone who has an awesome vegetarian food blog. He takes incredible photos, produces killer “how -to” videos, and is a great inspiration to me. I have learned some pretty cool tricks of the trade from from him- you should definitely check him out.

Now I won’t lie to you. These little suckers take some work. But like most things, the more you do it, the better you get at it. I have made them enough times that now I can bang them out pretty quickly, but it wasn’t always that way. You just have to get the hang of it but trust me- it’s worth it! James made a great how-to video that shows you how to execute his recipe. I highly recommend the watch.

James combines the cored out pieces of Brussel sprouts with garlic, breadcrumbs, herbs, ricotta cheese, and parmesan cheese and then stuffs them back into the shells of the Brussel sprouts. The result is pure, bite sized deliciousness!

Stuffed Brussel Sprouts
Ingredients
  • 15 very large Brussels sprouts
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 1 cup Parmesan shredded
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 3 Cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • Olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degree F.

  2. Wash the sprouts, trim the ends and halve them through the core. 

  3. Par cook the Brussels. To do so, fill a pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add the sprouts cut-side down. Cook for 1-2 minutes, remove them, separate them, and let them cool.

  4. Core the sprouts. (Tip: Watch the video above for this next step. James reached us how to quickly core the Brussels sprouts in just a few minutes.)

  5. Finely chop the cored out Brussels sprouts pieces. Add the chopped sprout insides and 3 cloves of minced garlic to a sauce pan. Sauté over a medium-high heat. Cook until the chopped sprouts are tender and the mixture is aromatic. 

  6. Mix the sprout & garlic mixture with the ricotta, Panko bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, thyme, basil, marjoram and dried sage. Add a dash of salt and taste the mixture. You want it to taste a bit overly salted because it will be less salty once they are baked.

  7. Using a small spoon, fill the Brussels sprouts with the stuffing. Over fill them. 

  8. Bake for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees or until the caps are crispy and slightly burnt.

Italian Style stuffed zucchini

Zucchini is an extremely versatile vegetable that grows easily and abundantly in the summer months. One of the many dishes you can make with this Italian squash is to stuff it. It makes for individual portions and you can get extremely creative with your stuffings.

This particular version of stuffed zucchini is inspired by classic baked stuffed shells. Rather than stuff the pasta shells with a ricotta mixture and topped with tomato sauce, I stuff zucchinis. The zucchini adds texture and introduces a vegetable element, both which  are typically absent from the original dish.  The flavors are reminiscent of a vegetable lasagna, but better.In addition to this dish tasting really good, there are actually quite a few other reasons I love this recipe.

  • It’s carb and gluten free
  • It’s super easy to make
  • It can be made in advance (always a fan)
  • It’s great to make for a party
  • It travels well
  • It’s inexpensive
  • Served as individual portions

Serve the Italian style stuffed zucchini along side a simple salad of mixed greens. Mmm, Mmm Good!

  • This is a great starter recipe for those just learning their way around the kitchen.
  • Pierce a few spots in the bottom of the zucchini to let excess liquid drain out so the inside isn’t soggy.

Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

Stuffed zucchinis are an excellent party dish because they can be prepared in advance and baked right before serving. They stay hot for a long time and are easy to serve as individual portions.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Ingredients
  • 3 Zucchini
  • 2 cups Ricotta cheese
  • 1 Large egg
  • 1/3 cup Grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup Frozen Spinach (drained & dried of all excess water)
  • Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper
  • Your favorite marinara sauce
  • shredded parmesan cheese for topping (optional)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. Slice the zucchini in half longways. 

    Slicing a Zucchini lengthwise
  3. Hollow them out into ‘zucchini boats.’ You want to leave about a 1/2 inch of flesh.

    Making Zucchini shells
  4. Pierce the zucchini using a thin pairing knife to allow excess moisture to drain.

    Piercing a zucchini
  5. Season with Salt & Pepper

    Seasoning zucchini with salt & pepper
  6. Combine ricotta, egg, grated parmesan, spinach, pinch of salt & pepper and mix well. 

    cheese stuffing for zucchini
  7. Stuff cheese mixture generously into the zucchini halves. 

    ricotta cheese in zucchini shells
  8. Spoon marinara sauce over zucchini and bake for about 30 minutes or until you can piece the zucchini easily with a knife, but are firm enough to still hold their shape. Add cheese for the last few minutes of cooking. 

    stuffed zucchini in oven
  9. Let zucchini rest for about 10 minutes and garnish with shredded parmesan, if using. 

    Zucchini stuffed with ricotta cheese
Recipe Notes

These can be prepared up to 24 in advance. To do so, stuff zucchini and store in refrigerator until ready to bake and serve.