Category Archives: corn

Recipe from September 17, 2016: Bitter Melon Sauté with Onion, Tomato, Corn, and Thai Basil

Yes, bitter melon is BITTER! But if you like a strong IPA ale or horehound candy, or just have a taste for something different, you just might like this interesting veggie. Technically a fruit along the lines of a squash, bitter melon has long been used medicinally to treat a number of health issues and has been a staple of Indian, China, and a number of other Indonesian cuisines.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Momordica_charantia for more information.

For this cooking demo, I used the Chinese variety of bitter melon available from Flats Mentor Farm, corn and onion from Kelly’s Farm, and tomato and garlic from Farmer Dave’s. Note: those are husk cherries in the box. I was looking for things to bring sweetness to counter the bitter, which is why I had them, but ended up not using them in the recipe. Many folks inquired about them and tried one or two upon noticing the on the table, with more than a few heading to Farmer Dave’s to get some for themselves. I’ll have some at the Kitchen Tent whenever Farmer Dave has them, so stop by to try one! Okay, now for the recipe.

Note: The proportions are not written in stone. Add more or less of any ingredient as desired, except to be sure you have enough oil to get the caramelizing effect.

Bitter Melon Sauté with Onion, Tomato, Corn, and Thai Basil

  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small to medium onion, chopped
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 or 3 cups sliced bitter melon*
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 2 Tbsp chopped Thai basil (or regular basil)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cut bitter melon in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds, and slice into ¼ inch or so half-moons. Chop onion and tomato, mince garlic, and cut kernels off the corn cob.

Heat oil and cook garlic and onion for just a few minutes, add the bitter melon slices, and cook until starting to get tender. Add the corn kernels and continue cooking until just tender. Stir in chopped basil and add a few pinches of salt and ground pepper to taste, a ¼ tsp to start. Let cook stirring occasionally until you see at least some caramelizing and the tomato starts to dissolve.
Season to taste and serve.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to try a bite, especially those whose suggestions helped create this recipe!

Recipe from September 10, 2016: Round (Cucurbita pepo) Zucchini Squash with Lemongrass, Onion, and Corn

demo-ingredients-cooking-croppedI created this five ingredient recipe at home using a round summer squash from Flats Mentor Farm and both my husband and I were totally wowed by the results. The next evening I tried the recipe with regular zucchini squash and it was quite tasty, but not as stupendously delicious as when I made it with the round squash.

I was planning to use the round squash in this recipe at the market cooking demo on 9/3, but Flats had not harvested any that week, which provided an excellent teaching moment:  A farmers market or local farm stand is not a grocery store that has multiple sources both near and far. In other words, you can’t always get what you want. BUT, the good news is that everything you can get is freshly picked from a local farm, and you just can’t get better than that. Plus, you can always substitute or adjust a recipe, accordingly.

I opted to use kousa squash in lieu of the round squash and texture-wise, it worked fabulously. (I find regular zucchini – and yellow summer squash –  to be just a touch more watery than than round or kousa squashes.) The kousa version was quite tasty. BUT…I recommend getting the round squash from Flats Mentor Farm when they have it and use it in this recipe. Try a nibble of it raw, too. It has a slightly different taste that translates into something special when cooked.

Round (Cucurbita pepo) or Kousa  Squash with Lemongrass, Onion, and Corn

  • 3 Tbsp canola or other mild oil
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh lemongrass
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cups cubed  squash
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels

demo-in-pan

The finished product. Even kids liked it!

Heat the oil to medium and cook the onion a bit then add the lemongrass and cook until getting soft and fragrant. Add cubed squash and cook until just soft, and add the corn and cook for just another minute or two. No seasoning necessary but you can add salt and pepper to taste, of course. 🙂

Note: The round squash pictured above, is PERFECT for this recipe. It is typically available from our Flats Mentor Farm farmers.

Click HERE for a great tutorial on preparing and cooking with lemongrass.

See below for pictures exemplifying how much lemongrass makes 2 tablespoons minced.

Click HERE  for a video showing how to get kernels off the cob without the mess!

 

lemongrass-rulerminced-lemongrass