We are harvesting the last of Summer’s bounty. Food-wise this is one of the best times of the year. There is just so much available to cook with and it’s all fresh and luscious. Admittedly I am an autumn/winter girl. I can feel the shudder coming from you warm weather aficionados, but admittedly there is nothing like summer fruit and veg. Two of my favourite things to eat at this time of year are tomatoes and corn.
Sun ripened tomatoes. If you have ever eaten one fresh out of a garden, I need not elaborate. All tomatoes are not created equally! I don’t even attempt to buy them out of season because they taste absolutely nothing like the real deal. When tomato season hits the first thing I do is throw some slices on a piece of grilled bread with a pinch of salt. For me there are few better meals! Then I sauce them, roast them, toast them and toss them. Heaven!
Corn is another vegetable I rarely eat out of season. I have so many childhood memories of buying ears from roadside stands with my parents. We would sit outside next to a smokin’ hot BBQ and shuck the corn as fast as we could – knowing that the fresh grilled nubbins would be slathered in butter and salt. Sweet and tender. You can cut the kernels off the cob and eat them fresh too. Ahhhh summer.
This brings me to my newest creation. I saw a recipe for fresh corn cakes by David Lebovitz and was inspired. Who wouldn’t be – they are beautiful to behold (mine aren’t nearly so photogenic)! We have been eating a ton of vegetarian and vegan meals of late and this was just the ticket I was looking for to use the ears of corn we picked up from a local stand. I am always trying to find ways to cover the protein angle which made me think about quinoa – and presto – an idea was born. What about adding some quinoa – and a dash of cheddar cheese – well just because 😉 So here’s my homage to summer corn and tomatoes. Although you just can’t beat the naked version of these veggies!
Crispy Cheddar Quinoa and Corn Cakes with Tomatoes, Greens & Maple Lemon Dressing
1 cup cooked organic quinoa
1/2 cup aged cheddar cheese
1 cup fresh corn (approx 1 1/2 – 2 ears of corn)
1 cup spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 large egg, plus 1 egg white
1 tbsp butter
1/3 cup full fat milk
1 tbsp raw honey
* serves 4 – 6 depending on appetites
Mix together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the egg/white, cooled melted butter, milk and honey. Lightly toss together with a fork. Then fold in quinoa, corn, cheese and green onion. Heat a cast iron skillet to medium high and melt some butter right before you fry the cakes. Cook for about 2 minutes and flip, then cook for another 2 minutes. The corn cakes should be brown and crispy. I had a hard time not burning them. Reduce the heat if you find they are cooking too fast.
* You can use more or less milk to change the consistency of your batter. My batter was fairly thick, but it might be fun to try a thinner corn cake. Use your discretion. You can play with textures. I am going to thin it out tomorrow and will update the results.
Place the corn cakes on a bed of mixed greens and sliced tomatoes. I topped them with maple lemon dressing. I squeezed juice of a lemon and mixed it with extra virgin olive oil, maple syrup and Dijon mustard and drizzled it over the top. Great! You can use anything really I think plain maple syrup would work just fine.