Saturday, July 24, 2010

Out of the Frying Pan...?


As of about three weeks ago, my husband and I have become part of the great North/South seasonal migration. After last summer’s 66+ days over 100ยบ in Austin, we decided we’d been maybe a bit hasty in our flight from the frozen Northeast. At least for the summer months, we figured we’d hide out in New Jersey, where we remembered temperatures mostly in the 70s and 80s, with the occasional night that didn’t even require air conditioning. So we found an apartment in Jersey City – near the water and the energy of NYC – and prepared to be cooler this summer.

Well, it was theoretically a good idea. But not so much this year. So far, since we’ve been here, temperatures in Jersey City have rivaled – rivaled, you hear? – those in Austin. In fact, for the first few days after we arrived, it was actually cooler in Austin. Maybe we’ll just stay inside.

But even with the heat, I am so thrilled to be back in the land of the farmers’ markets. They do have farmers’ markets in Texas, but none that I have seen can hold a scented candle to the fresh produce of the Northeast. (The photo here is from the market on Martha’s Vineyard, which we visited last year.) And it turns out that even in the urban heart of Jersey City, a handful of small farmers’ markets are blossoming. I’ve discovered a list of NINE markets, nicely scheduled so that there’s at least one every day of the week except Sunday, which is fine by me because that’s the day I wander back to Summit, where the best farmers’ market of all (in my humble opinion) takes place.

Another nice thing about coming back to our old stomping grounds is the opportunity to see friends we’ve been missing. And last weekend offered a sort of bonanza of New Jersey’s best when we visited friends who made an amazing salad that featured Jersey Fresh corn. Kitchen Goddess note #1: I added the olive oil when I made it a couple of days later, just because it seemed like a nice touch; but Kathrin, who is much thinner than I am, left that out. It’s terrific either way. Kitchen Goddess note #2: Kathrin grilled her corn, but I had no grill available, so I boiled mine, for 3 mins. The key is not to cook it too much, as a tiny bit of crunchiness is essential to the freshness of taste.

Kathrin’s Corn Salad

6 ears corn, grilled or boiled (3 mins)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered, or 1 large tomato, cut into half-inch dice
2 avocados, cut into half-inch dice
½ c chopped cilantro (or more, depending on how much you like cilantro – and I love cilantro)
juice of 2 limes
1 Tbl olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels off the corn into a bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Serves 6-8.

Kitchen Goddess note #3: This works fine as a buffet item, but if you are serving it plated, I’d recommend using a leaf of butter lettuce (also known as Boston or Bibb lettuce) to hold it.

2 comments:

  1. Sounds delightful. And I was just at MY NJ Farmers Market here in Chatham this morning where the corn looked great.

    Thanks for the recipe!

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  2. The good thing about Austin farmer's markets is that they typically have two seasons--one harvested in late fall, and the other harvested in spring. I just think it's amazing that eggplant, okra and crazy hot peppers of various kinds will even bear fruit now. And yes, I'm looking forward to "fall," such as it is here.

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