Summer is the best time to do the as little as possible to produce. My favorite way to eat peaches is just washed, juice dripping down your chin as you bite into them. Sliced tomatoes need nothing more than a hint of sea salt to be perfect. Roasted corn needs no butter or salt at this time of year. But if you do feel like cooking (and thanks to unseasonably lovely weather in New York, it hasn't been too hot to cook the past few weeks), I suggest you give these pancakes a try. Light but substantial, they stay fresh thanks to a quick corn and tomato salad piled on top, and are just begging for a poached or fried egg to be added on top. This is my favorite time of year for cooking, and here are a few other great recipes that use summer produce, should you be so inclined: tomato-basil bruschetta, zucchini carpaccio, and peach cornmeal shortcakes.
Corn Pancakes with Tomato-Corn Salad (adapted from Food52)
2 cups corn kernels, divided in half (from about 3 ears)
2 tablespoons butter, plus more for cooking
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup red onion, finely diced
1/2 cup basil chiffonade, plus more for garnish
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup corn kernels
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
Eggs, poached or fried or left off if you're lazy
- In a blender, purée half the corn kernels, butter, and buttermilk until mostly smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Mix in remaining corn kernels, onion, and basil.
- In a separate bowl, thoroughly combine all of the dry ingredients.
- Add wet ingredients to the dry, and mix until just combined.
- In a skillet, melt some butter over medium heat and about add 2 heaping tablespoons of batter for each pancake. (You can customize this based on how big you'd like your cakes to be, of course.) Cook about 2 minutes per side or until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- For the topping, combine tomato and corn with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spoon mixture over the corn cakes.
- Top each cake with an egg, salt, and pepper, and garnish with basil.