Last week a fellow mom said that if she serves another ear of corn or a tomato to her family, they will boycott her dinner table. You could easily reach corn and tomato overload at this point in the season. We eat tomatoes with almost every meal and corn hits our table a couple of times a week. How to pass a farm stand and not stop, I’ll never know. Come the freezing dark months of winter, I’d regret not having taken advantage of all this fresh delicious produce.
If you’re organized (which I’m not), and think in advance (which I don’t), you can easily freeze fresh produce. Doing that might not leave you as sad as the rest of us in January. Even with the best of intentions, I can’t seem to get my act together to freeze anything. Other than ice cream and frozen peas, what goes into our freezer never seems to come out. Alas, we do without the summer’s bounty when the snow starts to fall and I focus on root vegetables. Who doesn’t love some roasted butternut squash?
With corn still at the farm stands and a few slices of smoky thick cut bacon on hand, I made this side dish sauté. Who came up with that brilliant thought everything’s better with bacon? If you prefer to go meat-free, just leave it out.
- A little olive oil
- 4 slices thick cut smoky bacon, diced
- 1 large shallot, small dice
- 1 bell pepper – color of choice, just not green, diced
- 3 scallions, sliced (set aside a tbsp of the dark green slices)
- 4 ears fresh corn, cut off the cob (see tip below)
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- A few sprigs fresh thyme
- Kosher salt and pepper
If I recall correctly, it was Rachel Ray that I saw on TV cutting the corn off the cob this way. Genius! Just place a small bowl upside down inside a larger bowl. Steady the ear of corn on top of the small bowl’s base and cut the kernels off. They fall right into the bowl and not all over your counters. When you’re done, just carefully insert the tip of your knife under the small bowl to get it out. Voila! No chasing corn all over your kitchen.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and bacon to the pan, stir occasionally until it crisps up. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from the pan and place it on a paper towel lined plate, set aside. Pour off all but one tbsp of the bacon fat. Truth be told, I put mine in a container and have it in the refrigerator. Never know when you can use a little bacon fat in the future.
Add the diced shallot and peppers to the pan, sauté until they begin to soften. Reduce the heat to medium and add in the corn, tomato, scallion and fresh thyme. Stir to combine and cook for 3-5 minutes, until the corn is tender. Add in the crispy bacon to the pan and season with salt and pepper to taste. Give a final stir and garnish with the scallion greens.