It’s still summer and fresh corn is so good it’s almost a guilty pleasure. Take that corn off the cob and wrap it up in a tortilla with tomato, tomatillo salsa, savory ricotta, avocado, grill it in butter, and relish summer’s crème de la crème. Gild the lily with arugula, a fried egg, Dungeness crab or whatever sounds good. It’s a pretty straight forward, versatile meal, rolled up or open-faced, make it for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Knowing that fresh corn is about to disappear from the local table for another year, I’m appreciating every sunlit kernel. These wraps are for right now, or make this fresh corn chowder, which can be frozen and savored all winter.
My mom loved to remember and describe her favorite childhood summer meal: just a big platter of corn on the cob, another platter of homegrown tomatoes, and her mother’s homemade bread. Grown in their garden, there was plenty for everyone. There was also the drama of sharing with 10 or 11 siblings, along with her parents. Autumn will bring its own versions of deliciousness and favorite memories, but for now, along with ears of corn and tomatoes from the vine, we savor each tank top day and warm sunset.
Tomatillo, Tomato, Corn & Ricotta Tortillas Recipe
Enough for 4 tortillas.
Ingredients: 4 tortillas/ For the salsa, roughly chop and blend 8 tomatillos, 2 T shallot or 2 t garlic, 2 t jalapeno, more or less, depending on taste, 1 T lime juice, 1 t cumin, 2 t fresh oregano/ kernels from two ears of corn/ 1 C fresh tomatoes, coarsely chopped/ 2 C fresh ricotta mixed with 2 T each finely chopped chives and basil or oregano, 1/2 t salt, 1/4 t pepper/ 1 sliced avocado/ 1/2 C cilantro/ 2 T butter for sautéing tortillas. (Recipe for Roasted Tomatillo Salsa below.)
Directions: Tortillas can be cooked in butter before or after they are filled/ Place key ingredients in separate bowls, the corn, the ricotta mix, avocado, the blended tomatillo salsa (make salsa an hour or two in advance if possible)/ For an open faced presentation, sauté tortillas one at a time in butter until both sides are lightly browned, place one on each plate and layer ingredients on still warm tortillas: the ricotta, tomatillo salsa, fresh corn and avocado/ Or, place ingredients near center of a tortilla, roll up tightly and sauté in butter until each side is golden/ Garnish with a little extra corn, cilantro and/or salsa.
Variations: Add salad greens, scallions, any salsa, roasted peppers, a fried or poached egg, Oregon shrimp, fresh crab, cheddar instead of ricotta cheese, omit the cheese . . . dive into late summer on a plate.
*Roasted tomatillos make an excellent salsa.
Roasted Tomatillo Salsa, Rick Bayless
Servings: 1 cup
8ounces (3 to 4 medium) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
Fresh hot green chiles to taste (1 or 2 serranos or 1 jalapeno), stemmed
2large garlic cloves, peeled
6 sprigs of fresh cilantro (thick bottom stems cut off), roughly chopped
1small white onion, finely chopped
Roast the tomatillos, chile(s) and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler, until blotchy black and softening (they’ll be turning from lime green to olive), about 5 minutes. Flip them over and roast the other side. Cool, then transfer everything to a blender, including all the delicious juice the tomatillos have exuded during roasting. Add the cilantro and 1/4 cup water, then blend to a coarse puree. Scoop into a serving dish. Rinse the onion under cold water, then shake to remove excess moisture. Stir into the salsa and season with salt, usually 1/2 teaspoon.
*Recommend doubling this recipe. One cup isn’t enough!