Savoring the Seasons: Before it’s too Late …

The Recorder, September 15, 2015, Mary McClintock.

For me, there’s a point in every food’s season where I realize “the end is near!”

For melons, tomatoes, cucumbers and corn, that moment happened last week while I was shopping at The Bars Farmstand, Atlas Farm’s store and Clarkdale Fruit Farms. I looked around at the overflowing fruit and vegetable displays and thought, “Uh, oh! I wonder how much longer these crops will be available! I keep meaning to freeze corn, and enjoy some BLTs and try Mary Sirum’s salad recipe. I better get some before it’s too late!”

So, I asked how much longer. Cukes are almost done, peaches will be done soon, and I think tomatoes and corn depend on what the weather does.

Here’s Sirum’s recipe for a tasty salad featuring “eat-em-now-before-they’re-gone-foods” she brought to the Greenfield free community meal (Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Second Cong. Church, Court Square, doors open 5 p.m., meal served at 5:30 p.m.) when the Green Fields Market/Franklin Community Co-op members served the meal last month. It was REALLY popular.
My friend Deb’s recipe for a cheesy, peppery, yogurty way to savor corn is great NOW and also great LATER for those of us who freeze sweet corn for winter soups and casseroles.

And, before it’s too late, get tickets to CISA’s fabulous Taste the View feast happening this Friday, Sept. 18. Taste the View is an opportunity to celebrate the harvest and enjoy a scrumptious meal of locally grown food. It’s also a great way to support CISA, an organization that does so much for local agriculture and for all of us who love locally grown food. Check out to learn more.

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This week we’re eating …

Minted Watermelon/Tomato/Cucumber Salad

By Mary Sirum, Greenfield

This recipe is a variation of one I had previously at a harvest dinner and one I found online. The amounts are flexible depending on your taste and supply.

½ – 1 seedless cannonball watermelon cut into 2-inch cubes

2-4 C. cherry tomatoes
1-2 cucumbers (depending on their size), seeded and diced

1 C. red onion, thinly sliced half moons ( 1 small or ½ large onion)

2 limes, juiced and rind grated

2 T. extra-virgin olive oil

½ – 1 C. chopped mint leaves

1 C. crumbled feta cheese

Combine onion slices, lime juice, zest, olive oil and a dash of salt, set aside to marinate while prepping other ingredients (about 10 min.). Combine watermelon, tomatoes, cucumber in a large bowl. Add marinated onions and juice. Add mint. Gently mix together and refrigerate.

Add feta just before serving. Enjoy. (I suggest making this salad the day you plan to serve as it will get watery.)

Cheesy Corn Casserole

By Deb Donaldson, Conway

I think this recipe originated from because I was looking for a corn casserole dish that wasn’t loaded with butter. It called for sour cream but I substituted the yogurt and it was great. You can also use hot peppers, or a combination of peppers instead of sweet ones. I’ve used it as a side dish, a main dish, brunch, lunch, or dinner.

3 T. melted butter

1 large onion, chopped

1 small green bell pepper, chopped

1 small red bell pepper, chopped

3 eggs

2 C. non-fat Greek yogurt

2 C. sweet corn, fresh or frozen

1/3 C. yellow cornmeal

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

1½ C. shredded Cheddar cheese or Pepper Jack

In medium skillet, heat 2 T. of butter over medium heat. Add onion and peppers and cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Combine remaining 2 T. melted butter, eggs, and yogurt in a large bowl. Whisk together until smooth. Mix in corn, cornmeal, salt and pepper. Stir in cheese and the onion-pepper mixture. Turn into a 2-quart buttered casserole. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes, until puffed and golden. Serves 8.