Summer in the mid-Atlantic is a great time to experiment with vegetarian cooking. Growing up in New Jersey, we ate a ton of fresh sweet corn, and I love to incorporate this into my summer meals. Our local market also has tons of varieties of summer squashes - zucchini, eight ball, crookneck, bonita, pattypan and more!
My concoction today took advantage of our local market's bounty, as well as some pantry staples. I'm a big fan of red onion - I feel that it adds color and great flavor to dishes. I diced that finely, and then diced a zucchini and quartered some yellow tomatoes and set them aside. Then, I used my handy corn zipper to take the kernels off of two ears of corn.
I got a small amount of olive oil going in a large pan. We were running low on olive oil, and I was worried I wouldn't have enough. In actuality, it worked out fine, which likely means I've been using too much. I'll measure from now on and see how things go.
I sauteed the onions first, and then added the corn and zucchini. While the veg was going, I rinsed a can of Goya white beans (rinsing helps take off the "canned" taste and reduces your sodium content) by pouring them in a colander and running them under cool water. I then stirred the beans into the veg mix.
To season the dish, I used black pepper, cumin, sea salt and smoked paprika. A little bit of smoked paprika goes a long way to add color, a smoky flavor and a spicy kick. Once I could smell the aroma of the spices, I took the mix off the heat and added in some fresh chopped cilantro, and then topped my serving with a bit of crumbled feta. You can easily omit the feta to make this dish vegan, but I wanted to use up our leftover feta from the boreks I made last weekend.
A dish like this is great if you're feeding non-vegetarians. I had a larger serving as my main dish. My non-vegetarian husband had it as a side with some leftover barbeque from lunch. He commented that the colors were bright and summery and he liked the kick from the smoked paprika.
Not only did this dish taste good, but it cost next to nothing to make! We already had the onion and yellow tomatoes in the house. We got two ears of corn for 79 cents, the zucchini for 79 cents, the small bunch of cilantro for 69 cents and the beans for $1.09. I have a few portions leftover for lunch this week.
What vegetables are you experimenting with this summer?