I’ve lost count of the missing weeks by now, but couldn’t let the last vestiges of summer slip by without posting about the latest seasonal finds from our market in Ringwood.

I don’t know about you, but we’ve nearly eaten our weight in corn this summer. Grilled, smoked, raw, creamed, sautéed … it’s all been delicious and now that summer’s winding down, I’m truly savoring fresh corn while it’s still around. But a couple of dishes really stood out from the crowd and I want to make sure I tell you about them, and include links so I can re-create them next year.

This weekend I adapted Michael Ruhlman’s recipe for baked buttered corn (seen above), gilding the lily with burro di parma and wisps of freshly grated locatelli before baking, then finishing with a dab of truffle butter before serving. It sounds excessive, but the extra ingredients were used in moderation for just a touch of earthiness so really, corn was still the star. This dish is a great way to use late-season corn that maybe isn’t quite the revelation it was even a few weeks ago.

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For a couple of weeks in August, I was obsessed with cooking variations of Shrimp with Sweet Curry and Coconut Creamed Corn. We had it 3 times in the span of two weeks and I could still go for more, which will probably happen next weekend, now that I think about it. The only reason for adapting the recipe at all was because I didn’t have the specific spice blends called for, but after working around that problem, I’ve discovered that there isn’t a way to mess this up. The first time around, I left the curry out of the corn mixture and coated the shrimp with it instead (using Singapore curry from World Spice Merchants). The curry blend was light and paired perfectly with the shrimp; it accentuated the shrimp’s natural sweetness and, with a dash of cayenne pepper, added a touch of heat which cut through the richness of the coconut corn.

Nina found herself up to her ears in callaloo this summer, after deciding to grow it on a whim. Since I’m a sucker for any new (to me) ingredient, I made a beeline for the strange-looking vines when they appeared at her booth and managed to work it into a couple of other iterations of the shrimp and coconut corn recipe. If you’ve never had callaloo, it’s similar to water spinach or chard, but cooks down to something that seems much less virtuous, with a thick, silky, rich mouthfeel. I used madras curry in the corn base this time and simmered the shrimp along with it, so the dish was more of a stew than it was the first go-around. (No picture of what was an otherwise delicious dish because the callaloo turned the whole mixture a thoroughly unappealing-looking shade of bile green. And because I cobbled together a few recipes without writing down any of the steps/measurements, there’s no real recipe for you. But I’ll try to re-create it this weekend and let you know how it turns out.)

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But man can’t live by corn alone, so we’ve supplemented our diet with other seasonal goodies like tomatoes (duh), peaches, blueberry pie (Gil’s weakness) and summer squash. I’ve had Smitten Kitchen‘s ratatouille bookmarked since the film that inspired it was in theaters and finally got around to trying it for the first time this month. That noise you hear is me thwacking my head against the wall as I think of all those weeks (years, really!) of ratatouille perfection I missed out on.

But no longer. It’s made an appearance on our table for the second time in as many weeks and I imagine it’ll show up again before the squash and eggplant bid us farewell.

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Sometimes we’ll make a summer meal of thinly shaved squash and zucchini layered with with shaved parmesan, lemon juice, olive oil and smoked salt. Other times I’ll put a little more effort into it, like I did over the weekend.

When I saw a post for squash, bacon and goat cheese pasta at The Kitchen, I knew I’d have to make it. To compensate for the lackluster gluten-free pasta I’d serve it with, I made a few adjustments to coax more flavor from the sauce. I added some olive oil to the bacon fat, threw in about 1/2 small eggplant and, most importantly, added the juice of 1/2 lemon plus zest at the very end. The lemon really sent this one over the top, so I’d recommend trying it, even if you don’t have any pasta sins to cover.

And since I mentioned tomatoes… Behold: Tomato pie from Leite’s Culinaria!

I realize you can’t see any tomatoes, but once cut into slices, this pie turned into a phenomenally delicious mess. I’d certainly recommend it if you’re still up to your ears in tomatoes, but you might not want to serve it to people who care about presentation. Just sayin’.

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