Late Summer: Sweet Corn & Tomatoes

Tomatoes in Hand

In the depths of winter, when I'm fantasizing about summer, those fantasies break down into 2 broad categories: the beach and late-summer vegetables. The beach because that's where I wish I was, the vegetables because I wish that's what I was eating. August is when gardens and farm stands explode with deliciousness faster than you can consume it. If you've never had cause to appreciate your 5 senses, August at a farmer's market will change all that, with sights, sounds, and-especially-smells certain to have you drooling in anticipation. Zucchini, fresh herbs, garlic, eggplant. Beans. Radishes. And best of all: sweet corn and tomatoes.

Very little can compete with a freshly picked and cooked ear of corn on the cob. Or a tomato straight from the garden, still warm from the afternoon sun. But if you're getting bored with the minimalist vibe, grill your corn and top it with cotijo cheese and hot sauce for a take on Mexican street food. Bake the tomatoes into a tart, or stir them into olive oil, garlic, and salt for a quick pasta sauce. Make a frittata. Bruschetta. Or toss the corn and tomatoes with olive oil, basil, and a touch of hot pepper for a salad that's basically August in a bowl.

Of course, we have some definite opinions on what you should drink with all that, starting with some ripe, rich Cali Chardonnays. The Neyers Carneros is a classic, but don't overlook Fulcrum's Durell Vineyard or Byron Kosuge's Sonoma Coast Chard. Seeing red instead? Pick up the black cherry-laden Villain & Vixen Grenache or our new favorite Avalon Cabernet. Or split the difference and go pink: Bedrock's Ode to Lulu gives you the gutsy quality of a big red with the slithery coolness of a white, all in one bottle.

And if you really like your tomatoes and corn (and zucchini and herbs and local beer, cheese, meat, bourbon, etc), then mark your calendars for our Harvest Festival FUNdraiser for the Norfolk County Farm Bureau. Your $10 ticket is a 100% donation to the Farm Bureau and includes samples of delicious farm to table food, farm to glass cocktails, organic wines, and local beers. Sunday, August 25 from 1-4 PM. Don't miss it!