Recipes to soak in the last of summer

Jennifer Alexander Ruple

Are you the type who holds onto summer as long as possible, soaking up every bit until the very end? Or are you the type who dives full on into fall as soon as September drops? Personally, I’m on the fence on this one. As much as I love the fresh tastes of summer, I do welcome the flavors of the upcoming season – pumpkins and spice; apples and cinnamon; sweet potatoes and brown sugar. For those still in summer mode, there’s plenty of time to enjoy the season’s best – especially corn, peppers and squash. And just a quick reminder, all these goodies can be found at the Sylvania Farmers Market each Tuesday through October 11.

Ricotta and Spinach Stuffed Bell Peppers

A twist on traditional stuffed peppers, these bell peppers are roasted until tender then loaded with fresh spinach, sweet Vidalia onion and a mixture of ricotta, mozzarella and Asiago cheeses. Plus, skipping the rice used in many stuffed pepper recipes, results in a lower in carbs lunch or dinner.

Serves 4

  • 2 large bell peppers, any color
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium Vidalia or sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Asiago cheese, freshly grated
  • Fresh basil, thinly sliced

Heat oven to 375 F. Cut peppers in half lengthwise and remove their seeds. Brush cut sides with olive oil. On a baking sheet, place pepper halves skin side down and bake for 10 minutes. Turn them over then bake for another 10 minutes or until they are fork tender.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onion, garlic and salt, and sauté until the onion is translucent. Stir in pepper and nutmeg. Add spinach and stir until it has wilted.

Remove skillet from burner. Stir in the ricotta cheese and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Set aside.

When peppers are done, remove from oven. Spoon 1/4 of the cheese and spinach mixture into each pepper half. Top with remaining mozzarella and sprinkle with Asiago cheese.

Bake for about 10 minutes then set oven to broil and broil until cheese is brown and bubbly. Garnish with fresh basil.

Elote Asado (Mexican Grilled Corn)

Elote Asado is a popular way of serving grilled corn on the cob at festivals and markets in Mexico. In this version, fresh corn is grilled in their husks then brushed with crema, rolled in crumbled Cotija cheese, and finished with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Soaking the corn prior to grilling keeps them from burning, plus the steam that’s produced inside the husks keeps the corn moist. Cotija cheese and Mexican crema can be found at most local grocery stores.

Serves 6

  • 6 ears corn in husks
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
  • 1 cup Cotija cheese or other crumbling salted cheese such as feta
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped

Fill a large bowl or bucket with water. Soak corn in husks for about 1 hour.

Heat grill to medium. Place corn on grill and cook for 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally.


In a small bowl, combine crema, chili powder, juice from half the lime, and two tablespoons of chopped cilantro. Set aside.

Remove corn from grill and allow to cool slightly. Remove husks and silk and brush corn with butter. Grill over high heat for another 3 to 4 minutes, or until they are slightly browned.

Remove from grill and brush corn with crema mixture. Roll in cheese and sprinkle with more cilantro and the remaining lime juice.

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