Summer Fresh Produce

Contributing Writer
Vicki McGraw

Hello, friends! I hope you have been making the most of the wonderful warm weather we have had this summer! Over the last week or two I have noticed a little chill in the early mornings, and a little less daylight in each day, but I am enjoying every minute of the warmth. No air conditioning needed for this girl! We have enough “natural air conditioning” (aka winter) to do anything to usurp the heat. Just sit back, enjoy and read on!

One of my favorite parts of the season’s warm weather has been the wonderful fresh produce that has been grown locally. Zucchini, tomatoes, corn, beans…you name it, and it seems to be available, plentiful, and simply beautiful. The displays in the markets and at roadside stands will entice the most wary of veggie eaters, and offer inspiration to the creative minded cooks. This is the one of the times of year I enjoy most!

As we so often hear, shopping local is a bonus, not only in availability, but also in some health benefits. We all know that bees offer the pollination that results in the flowers we enjoy, but that same process also adds to the healthfulness of our produce. Local pollens- and for many of us, allergens- are transferred by bees. The bees use that pollen while they produce honey, which can be eaten as a non-pharmaceutical allergy inhibitor. Another healthful benefit is that local produce does not need to be treated with chemical preservatives or waxes to extend shelf life, as it does not travel great distances to get to us.

As with the handling of any food, a little common sense goes a long in assuring that our fresh produce stays fresh and tasty. Always rinse your produce before prepping and consuming it, and store it in appropriate containers under refrigeration once you have cut into it (meaning the other half of the melon you just ate for lunch or the rest of the cucumber you added to your salad need to be wrapped and put in the fridge!). Remember, the self-life of homegrown produce maybe a bit longer, because you are getting it straight from the garden, or a little shorter because it hasn’t been treated with any type of preservatives…my suggestion is simply to eat and enjoy every bite!

Sweet Corn and Tomato Salsa

  • 2 ears of fresh sweet corn
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 2 T red onion, diced
  • ¼ C fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno, finely diced
  • ¼ C Olive oil
  • 2 T Balsamic vinegar

Soak corn (husk on) in water for at least 1 hour, then grill until husk is charred. Allow to cool, remove husk and cut corn from cob.

Add corn kernels to remaining ingredients, mix well (but gently!). Chill well and serve with chips or crackers.

To read more of Vicki McGraw’s commentaries on good cooking, fine recipes and perfect party treats, visit www.jamestowngazette.com and click on Join Me in the Kitchen’s own page. The Jamestown Gazette is proud to present our county’s most creative and original writers for your enjoyment and enlightenment.