SUMMER CORN & HEIRLOOM SALAD WITH SPICY BREADCRUMBS, GOAT CHEESE & TOMATILLO SALSA VERDE

It's been a busy Summer in terms of cooking.  I have not missed a weekend at the farmer's market & have been chasing heirloom tomatoes along with every single kind of seasonal fruit.  I can say I've pretty much been subsisting on those two food groups exclusively.

For New Yorkers, it's a real luxury to have this much amazing food in season at one time.  I try to explain to my family in California, but they just don't understand.  "There's such a buzz in the air! Everyone is so happy about tomatoes!" We definitely couldn't handle this all year round, it's true.

Besides eating plums standing up in my kitchen, I've mostly been assembling random salads all Summer long.  Since I was raised in Southern California, I have very little food heritage except maybe sprouts on sandwiches and mexican food all day/everyday.  So for me, putting salsa verde on basically a panzanella, is not weird at all.  I highly suggest it - it's my favorite end-of-Summer salad.

SUMMER CORN & HEIRLOOM SALAD WITH SPICY BREADCRUMBS, GOAT CHEESE & TOMATILLO SALSA VERDE (Gluten-free)

This salsa recipe will make a ton & I suggest you put it on anything and everything.  Tacos, hippie bowls, eggs, etc.  You'll thank me later!

Tomatillo Salsa Verde:

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lb. tomatillos, de-husked
  • 1 small sweet onion, halved
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1-2 limes
  • 4 scallion stalks, roughly chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, de-seeded optional
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro leaves (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon honey, optional.

Salad:

  • 5-6 slices gluten-free bread, cubed
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 ears of corn
  • 6 oz. heirloom tomatoes, sliced
  • 4 radishes, shaved
  • 1 small bunch of chives, chopped
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Add garlic, tomatillos and onion to a sheet pan with a drizzle of olive oil.  Roast for 25-30 minutes or until tomatillos are softened.  Set aside to cool.

Once roasted vegetables have cooled a bit, add to a food processor with lime juice, scallions, jalapeño, cilantro & honey.  Blend until smooth & well-combined.  Set aside.

Use the same sheet pan (wipe down if messy) and toss bread cubes with olive oil, smoked paprika, cayenne, salt & pepper (to taste).  Toast in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and extra toasty (not at all soft).

While bread toasts, add husked corn to a large pot.  Bring to a boil, and cook for 2-3 minutes or until corn becomes yellow and tender.  Remove with tongs & add to a colander. Rinse with cold water & set aside to cool.

Once corn has cooled, slice kernels off the cob & add to a platter or serving bowl.  Add sliced heirloom tomatoes, radish, chives & a few hunks of goat cheese.  Season to taste.  Grab a handful of toasted bread cubes & crumble them in your hands over the dish (and leave some cubed, for texture).  Top with tomatillo salsa verde & serve immediately!

HEIRLOOM TOMATO & HEMPSEED TOAST

It's finally tomato season.  The farmer's market is bursting with the most beautiful array of heirloom tomatoes & I want to use them on everything.  Besides simple Summer salads & no-cook sauces, toast is my favorite way to eat tomatoes this time of year.  They don't need much, so I try to eat them as purely as possible.  I mean, we have been waiting for these babies all year, right?  For tomorrow's breakfast & even the hottest of days, this toast is your new go-to.

Heirloom Tomato Toasts (Serves 2) Vegan & Gluten-free

  • 4 thick slices bread, toasted
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 3-4 medium sized heirloom tomatoes, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons hempseeds
  • Flaky sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Once bread is toasted & still warm, rub garlic clove over each slice.  Drizzle with a bit of olive oil, then layer heirloom tomatoes over each toast.

Top each slice with hempseeds, flaky sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.  Drizzle over extra virgin olive oil before serving.

HERBED GOAT CHEESE & RADISH TARTINES

I am and always have been the biggest fan of toast.  It’s the most perfect and versatile blank canvas that works well for any time of day.    Whether it’s avocado, eggs or something a little sweeter - there are truly endless opportunities for greatness here.  Especially on those days where we really only have time to slap something on a piece of bread.  It doesn't always happen to be joyless - sometimes you just need a pretty radish.

Herbed Goat Cheese & Radish Tartines (Gluten-free) Serves 2 

  • 4 slices gluten-free bread, toasted
  • 1 raw garlic clove
  • 3-ounces goat cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 4 sprigs fresh dill, de-stemmed & minced
  • 4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, de-stemmed & minced
  • 4-5 radishes, sliced thin (use mandolin or paring knife)*
  • Microgreens, to top
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • Sea salt, to taste

When your bread is toasted & still warm, rub raw garlic clove evenly over each slice.  Set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, stir together goat cheese, lemon zest and fresh herbs until evenly combined.  Spread herbed goatcheese evenly across each toast.  Layer with sliced radish and top with microgreens.  Season with flaky sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.  Serve immediately.

*Note: I used green meat & watermelon radishes, but feel free to use any radish variety you can find. They're all good!