Garden Quickies: Recipes to Please



Jarrod E. Stephens

The Ashland Beacon

   By now I am hopeful that everyone who is reading this has had at least one meal this summer that included a farm fresh vegetable. There’s absolutely no substitute for the amazing taste that fresh produce packs into a meal. Whether you are a fan of green beans, corn, tomatoes, or anything fresh there are endless possibilities for creating quick dishes that will become a family favorite.

   First of all, I take no credit for being an expert cook. However, I am an expert eater with several years of experience. I can also admit that I had no part in the creation of either of these garden quickie recipes but my boys and I have supported my wife each time that she makes them.

   Our family raises a lot of Honey Select corn each season which means we enjoy corn on the cob quite often. Aside from the traditional corn on the cob we’ve grown to love what we simply call Pan Fried Corn.

   Heat a large skillet and grease it with two tablespoons of bacon grease. You can use basically any type of cooking oil, but I like to find every excuse on earth to flavor something with bacon. Cut the corn off six large ears of corn into the pan. Add one finely diced green pepper and ¼ diced onion to the skillet as well. You can add red peppers if you are wanting to add a little color. If you want to add a little spice to the dish you can also add some diced jalapeños. Allow the corn to simmer on medium heat for five minutes as you stir it periodically. Once you remove the fried corn from the skillet, salt to taste and add diced red tomatoes to the top and serve. The cool tomatoes add a unique flavor to the fried corn and peppers while adding some color.

   A common vegetable that can be used to create a healthy lasagna is the zucchini. Basically, you use your favorite lasagna recipe but instead of using pasta you slice the zucchini into thin pieces and create the layers. Since zucchini has such a large water content you can remove the excess water by sprinkling the sliced zucchini with salt and then dabbing the water with a paper towel. You will be quite surprised how much water will be removed. Don’t rinse it after this procedure or it will simply rehydrate.

   The local farmers markets are nearing the peak of the season so there is no shortage of healthy options for you to try. The farmers at the markets truly are the experts when it comes to growing the produce and sometimes they can even recommend some tasty recipes that you may have never considered. You don’t have to be an expert cook to create some tasty summer quickies that will have the family eager to gather around the table.