- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 22, 2007

One trip to the farmers market in August or September can lead to small, great things, such as this simple dish, my Southwest summer corn hash.

Try it as a side for dinner (it goes with everything) or next to your breakfast eggs, accompanied by a few thick slices of vine-ripened tomatoes (in addition to the optional sweet cherry tomatoes that I hope you’ll include).

Southwest summer corn hash

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup minced onion



1/2 cup minced poblano chili (about half a medium chili)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

About 1 teaspoon unsalted butter (optional; see note)

Corn freshly cut from 2 ears sweet corn (about 2 cups)

1 small zucchini, diced (optional)

1 cup minced red bell pepper (1 small pepper)

1/4 teaspoon salt (rounded measure)

1 teaspoon minced or crushed garlic

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

OPTIONAL EXTRAS:

1 to 2 scallions, very finely minced

About 10 leaves of fresh basil, in thin strips

Up to a dozen very sweet, small cherry tomatoes, halved

A touch of grated mild cheese or sour cream

Place a large, deep skillet over medium heat. After about a minute, add the olive oil, and swirl to coat the pan.

Add the onion, chili and cumin to the oil, and saute for 5 minutes, or until the onion becomes soft.

Melt in the butter, if desired, then stir in the corn, optional zucchini and bell pepper.

Sprinkle in the salt and add the garlic, stirring well. Saute for another 5 to 8 minutes or so — or until done to your liking.

Grind in some black pepper and stir in any of the optional extras. (You can also use these as toppings.) Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Makes 4 to 5 servings (a little more if adding the zucchini and tomatoes).

Note: The optional butter goes a long way for flavor.

Mollie Katzen is the author of Moosewood Cookbook (Ten Speed Press). To contact her, go to www.molliekatzen.com.

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