Sizzle Simmer Sauté–Tomatoes, zucchini and corn: Recipes to celebrate late summer’s bounty

Jennifer Ruple

Have you noticed a nip in the air? Mornings are a tad cooler and the evening sun is setting earlier and earlier. Fall is on the horizon. For some of you who are ready to move on to 2021, that’s good news. However, I’m not ready to let go of summer just yet.
I’ve been having too much fun at farmers markets, shopping for harvest’s treasures. And I’m enjoying the relaxing, comfort from the earth vibe I get when picking my own vegetables and flowers at area farms. What’s even more fun is bringing my big, burlap market tote home filled with all those goodies and creating new recipes from them. Did I mention the gorgeous fresh flower bouquets I get to look at on my kitchen island each day? I’m in no hurry; fall can hold off for a little longer.

Tomato Basil Pie
This rustic pie, also known as a galette, is a single layer of crust simply folded up and over the contents. With layers of cheeses, tomatoes and Italian spices, it tastes a bit like a deep dish pizza, only enveloped in a flaky crust.
Recipe makes 6 servings.

1 refrigerated pie crust, room temperature
3 medium tomatoes or the equivalent in
assorted sizes, sliced
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to
1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
Heat oven to 375 F.

Pat tomatoes with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
On a parchment lined baking sheet, unroll pie crust. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, basil, garlic, oil, vinegar, seasoning and salt and pepper.
To the pie crust, add cheeses leaving a 2-inch border of crust. Next add tomatoes mixture. Fold the crust up and over the outer part of the filling, leaving the center of the pie open.
Brush egg over top of crust. Bake for 25-35 minutes, covering crust with strips of foil after 15 minutes to prevent over browning.
Allow pie to stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature.
(Recipe by Jennifer Ruple)

Corn and Green Chile Casserole
Here’s a new spin on my classic corn casserole recipe. By adding roasted green chiles and spices, I’ve created a Mexican-style version. Enjoy it as a meatless main or a satisfying side dish alongside grilled fajitas. After baking, top with crushed tortilla chips for a little crunch. Recipe makes 6 side dish servings.
3 ears of corn, cooked and cut from their cobs
4 ounces of roasted green chiles
2 tablespoons flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
1 cup cheddar or Mexican blend
cheese, plus more for topping
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Lime wedges
Crushed tortilla chips
Heat oven to 350 F. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Pour into a medium casserole dish coated with olive oil spray. Sprinkle with a bit more cheese.
Bake uncovered for 1 hour. Enjoy hot with a squirt of lime juice and a sprinkling of crushed tortilla chips.
(Recipe by Jennifer Ruple)

Zucchini Lasagna
Sliced zucchini takes center stage to replace lasagna noodles in this lower-in-carbs meal. Inside, you’ll find an explosion of veggies – spinach, carrots and onions – layered with creamy ricotta and mozzarella cheeses. Recipe makes 6 servings.
2 medium zucchini, sliced about ¼ inch thick
15 ounce container ricotta cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup shredded carrot
2 cups fresh spinach
1 ½ cups marinara sauce
Parmesan cheese
Fresh basil leaves, sliced
¼ cup toasted pignolias (pine nuts) for garnish
Spray two baking sheets with olive oil. Arrange sliced zucchini in a single layer on baking sheets. Broil for 5 minutes or until moisture is released. Allow zucchini to cool, and then pat it dry with paper towels.
Heat oven to 350 F.
In a bowl, combine ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, egg, salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a medium skillet, heat oil. Sauté onion and carrot until they begin to soften. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Set aside.
In a medium casserole dish, spoon half of the marinara sauce over the bottom. Add the first layer of zucchini slices. Next, add half of the cheese mixture, and top it with half of the sautéed vegetables. Add a second layer of zucchini slices and add the remaining cheese mixture and then remaining vegetables.
Finish with a third layer of zucchini. Drop dollops of the remaining marinara sauce over the zucchini. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 1 hour. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before slicing. Garnish with basil and pine nuts.
(Recipe by Jennifer Ruple)

Leave a Reply