Column: Susan McClanahan: Recipes for anyone with and abundant garden (7/22/21)

Kandace Wysock

Table of Contents Bacon and Fresh Corn Griddle CakesCrispy Squash CasseroleCorn, Tomato and Avocado SaladCheesy Zucchini BakeTraditional Southern Tomato PieSauted Yellow SquashTomato, Corn, Zucchini and Feta MuffinsSpring Vegetable GnocchiCucumber Sandwiches Fresh fruit and vegetables are coming into the peak of the season, and it looks like an abundant crop. The […]

Fresh fruit and vegetables are coming into the peak of the season, and it looks like an abundant crop. The peaches are delicious, and the sweet corn has been wonderful.

For those who have their own garden, it can be an abundance all at once, so you may need a few new recipes to help use the crop.

I have found some recipes today that I am eager to try, and I hope you will, too. I am especially intrigued by the griddle cakes and the tomato, corn and zucchini muffins. I hope you give these recipes a chance to make it onto your dinner table.

Bacon and Fresh Corn Griddle Cakes

This stack of savory pancakes filled with fresh corn and onions, served with warm maple syrup, is a delicious breakfast treat.

* 8 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

* 1/3 cup finely chopped sweet onion

* 1 cup all purpose flour

* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

* 1 teaspoon baking powder

* 1/2 teaspoon salt

* 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

* 2/3 cup milk

* 1 large egg, beaten

* 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil

* 1 cup frozen, canned or fresh corn

* 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

* Warm maple syrup, for serving

In a medium skillet, cook the bacon pieces until they begin to brown. Add the onion and continue to cook until the bacon is crisp and the onion is softened. Scoop out a heaping tablespoon of the bacon mixture for topping the griddle cakes upon serving and set it aside.

While the bacon is cooking, combine the flour, chives, baking powder, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir in the milk, egg and oil, just until moistened. Stir in the bacon mixture, corn and cheese. The mixture will be thick. If you’d like the griddle cakes to be slightly thinner, add a little more milk to thin out the batter.

Heat and grease a griddle or large skillet. Pour a heaping 1/4-cup of the batter onto the griddle and cook until it is golden brown — three to four minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Serve stacks of griddle cakes topped with a sprinkle of the reserved bacon/onion and a good dose of warm maple syrup.


Crispy Squash Casserole

* 4 cups mixed zucchini and yellow squash, thinly sliced

* 1/2 cup thinly sliced yellow onion

* 1/2 cup basil pesto

* 1/2 cup marinara sauce

* 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs

* 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

* Pinch of red pepper flakes

* Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing and drizzling

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and brush the bottom of a 9-inch-by-12-inch baking dish with olive oil.

Set the sliced squash on a kitchen towel to drain some of the excess moisture while you prep everything else.

In a large bowl, toss the zucchini and onions with the pesto.

Layer the baking dish with the marinara sauce, followed by the zucchini mixture. Spread the zucchini into one even layer. Sprinkle the top with the panko, Parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil, and pinches of red pepper flakes.

Bake until the zucchini is tender (but not mushy) and the top is crispy and lightly browned — about 25 minutes. I like to turn my broiler on for the last few minutes to help the topping become browned and crisp.

Remove from oven and let it cool 20 minutes before slicing.


Corn, Tomato and Avocado Salad

Corn, Tomato and Avocado Salad is a healthy salad perfect for the hot summer months. Filled with fresh corn, avocados, sweet basil, cherry tomatoes, peppers and zucchini.

* 3 ears corn

* 1 orange pepper, diced

* 1 large zucchini, diced

* 2 ripe avocados, diced

* 16 ounces roasted red peppers, chopped

* 10 ounces golden cherry tomatoes, halved

* 10 ounce cherry tomatoes, halved

* 1 (.66 ounce) container basil chopped

For the dressing:

* 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

* 1/4 cup olive oil

* 1 clove garlic finely, minced

* 1 teaspoon salt

* 1/2 teaspoon sugar

* 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Shuck fresh corn and wrap individually in plastic wrap. Microwave all three for four to five minutes. Remove from microwave and unwrap carefully. Grill (either indoors or outdoors) to char the kernels on the outside. Set aside to cool. Chop fresh ingredients and add to a large bowl. Cut kernels off of the cob and add to salad.

For the dressing, whisk all ingredients together until well combined. Pour over salad and toss. Refrigerate or serve immediately.


Cheesy Zucchini Bake

This cheesy Zucchini Bake is one of my favorite ways to use zucchini! Delicious meatless recipe with eggs is great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner…and so easy to make!

* 1 (8 ounce) can refrigerated crescent rolls

* 2 tablespoons butter

* 1 small onion chopped (approx. 1 cup)

* 4 cups chopped zucchini, approximately 4 small

* 3 eggs

* 1 teaspoon dried basil

* 1 teaspoon dried oregano

* 1 teaspoon dried mustard

* 1/2 teaspoon salt

Press crescent roll dough into a greased 8- x 8-inch pan.

Melt butter in a medium skillet; add chopped onion and chopped zucchini and saute over medium heat 5 minutes (until tender-crisp).

In a medium mixing bowl, beat eggs and then stir in spices.

Add a small amount of onion/zucchini mixture to eggs to temper them; then add remainder of mixture and stir together.

Stir in shredded mozzarella.

Pour mixture into unbaked crust; bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 min.


Traditional Southern Tomato Pie

Make the most of those fresh tomatoes with a savory Traditional Southern Tomato Pie. It’s full of flavor from two cheeses, fresh sun ripened tomatoes and a buttery pie crust.

* 4 large tomatoes, peeled and sliced

* 1 (9-inch) deep-dish pie shell

* 1 cup mozzarella, grated

* 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

* 1/2 cup sour cream

* 3 tablespoons mayonnaise

* Salt and pepper

* 4 basil leaves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blind bake the pie shell until lightly brown.

Peel and slice tomatoes, place in colander and sprinkle with salt. Allow to drain 10 minutes.

Stir together sour cream and mayonnaise, add cheeses and salt and pepper. Layer tomatoes in pie shell. And spread sour cream mixture on top. Bake 30 minutes until lightly browned and cheese is melted. Remove from oven and sprinkle torn basil leaves on top. Cool slightly. Serve warm.


Sauted Yellow Squash

This sauteed yellow squash is one of my all-time favorite summer squash recipes! A crispy, nutty panko topping contrasts perfectly with the tender, herb-flecked squash.

* 3 yellow squash

* Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

* Fresh basil and thyme for garnish, optional

* Herb oil

* 1 tablespoon lemon juice

* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

* 1 small garlic clove, grated

* 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped

* 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

* Freshly ground black pepper

Bread Crumb Topping:

* 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

* 1/4 cup Parmesan

* 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

* 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

* Pinch of red pepper flakes, optional

Slice the squash into 1/4-inch rounds. If the squash is large, slice the rounds into half-moons.

Make the herb oil: In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper and shake to combine.

Make the topping: In a small bowl, combine the panko, Parmesan, parsley, salt, several grinds of pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes, if desired.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat with a few drizzles of olive oil. Add the squash and saute for about 7 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so that all sides get cooked. I like to cook mine until it’s soft, yet still has a firm bite, but before it becomes too watery and mushy. Remove from the skillet and toss with the herb oil. Top with the panko mixture, and fresh herbs, if desired.


Tomato, Corn, Zucchini and Feta Muffins

Tomato, feta and zucchini muffins are a savory take on the baked good that is a fantastic way to use up all the fresh summer veggies. Loaded with corn, cheese, tomatoes and squash, these muffins are perfect any time of day!

* 1/2 cup skim milk

* 2 large eggs

* 2 teaspoons stone ground mustard

* 2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme

* 3/4 cup shredded pecorino Romano cheese

* 2 cups flour

* 4 teaspoons baking powder

* 1 teaspoon salt

* Freshly ground black pepper

* 1 cup shredded zucchini, pressed between thick layers of paper towels to remove excess moisture

* 1/2 cup corn kernels

* 2 cups chopped roma tomatoes seeds and liquid pulp removed

* 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Add the milk, eggs, mustard, thyme, and Romano cheese to a medium sized mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer, whisk together on low speed until evenly combined and frothy.

To a large mixing bowl add the flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper. Using a fork, whisk them together until evenly combined. Set aside.

Add the zucchini and corn to the flour bowl, gently tossing to until evenly mixed.

Reserve a few tomato pieces, for topping the muffins, and add the rest to the mixing bowl. Stir gently to evenly combine and coat in the flour mixture.

Pour the wet mixture into the bowl of combined dry ingredients. Using a spatula, stir just until combined. Fold in a 1/2 cup of the feta cheese, but don’t overmix.

Generously spray a muffin tin with non stick cooking spray to coat the wells. Spoon the batter in the prepared pan.

Top each with a couple pieces of tomato and feta, then bake the muffins at 400 degrees for 20-22 minutes, or until all the muffins are puffed up and golden brown on top.

Remove the muffins from the oven, and allow them to rest for a full 5 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edges of each to release them from the pan and then transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Serve the muffins as is, or with softened butter, and enjoy!


Spring Vegetable Gnocchi

This Spring Vegetable Gnocchi is creamy, delicious, and perfect for spring! It’s loaded with the best spring vegetables and comes together in under 20 minutes. Perfect for busy weeknights.

* 2 tablespoons olive oil

* 3-4 cloves garlic, minced

* 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Heat olive oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat. Add carrots and asparagus and saute 2-3 minutes. Add zucchini, peas, gnocchi, chicken broth, white wine, and lemon juice.

Cover skillet, increase heat to high, and cook 3 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in fresh dill. Season with salt and pepper as desired.


Cucumber Sandwiches

Cucumber Sandwiches are the perfect way to help use fresh garden cucumbers. Made with just a handful of ingredients, they’re simple, fresh, and so delicious!

* 12 slices white bread

* 1 English cucumber

* 8 ounces cream cheese, softened

* 1/4 cup mayonnaise

* 2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced

* 1 tablespoon lemon juice

* 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

* 1/4 teaspoon salt

In small mixing bowl, combine softened cream cheese, mayonnaise, dill, lemon juice, garlic powder, and salt. Use a hand mixer or spoon to mix well.

Peel the cucumber in stripes and cut into 1/8-inch slices using a mandoline or very sharp knife.

Cut the crust off of the bread to make squares.

For each sandwich, spread about 1 tablespoon of cream cheese filling onto each piece of bread. Add thinly sliced cucumbers, fresh cracked pepper and additional fresh dill. Place the second piece of bread on top, then carefully cut into 4 triangles or squares.

Notes: How to keep a Cucumber Sandwich from getting soggy

Use English cucumbers, which have less water content than regular cucumbers due to their smaller seeds.

Sprinkle the sliced cucumbers with salt and place them on paper towels to allow any additional moisture to drain before adding them to the sandwiches. (*You may want to omit the salt from the cream cheese filling if you go this route.)

Spread cream cheese on both pieces of bread to create a barrier between the cucumbers and the bread.


Have a great week, and until next time, happy cooking.

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