Last weekend, I decided to get all creative and stuff, and went to a farmers market to see what they had for sale, and then create a dish around it.
And I saw some ears of corn, and decided I just had to make a dish around them, because I’m sure they picked the ears this morning from their backyard and they’re totally fresh and no I don’t even need to check them because why would a farmer sell product that wasn’t totally fres…
Fuck that lying fucking farmer!
The next ear of corn had a worm in it, which was too fast for me to take a picture of. Which, I guess I have to respect. I mean, if you’re wanting to replicate the whole farm to lying farmer field, what better way to do that than to add a slimy worm to your nasty-ass lying corn.
By this point, I was determined, come hell or high water, to make a dish with corn as the centerpiece. Also, using the phrase “come hell or high water” outs me as a 126 year old man that took his first date to a sodajerk for a phosphate and then spent the rest of his life blaming those damn Irish for the decline of civilization and got the off-the-menu Fox News only package from Comcast…where was I again…
Oh, yes, corn. Luckily, there was another neighborhood farmers market right around the corner. I think it was called Kroger. This time I didn’t trust their corn so I pulled back the husks and saw that these ears, in fact, were telling the truth. So, up yours, local corn!
Now, one place that did tell the truth was the farmer that sold cherry tomatoes, and holy shit were they good! Even though they cost way more than supermarket tomatoes, they were so far and away a superior product that they were worth it. I actually ate a few on their own, like candy.
(I can’t stress enough how amazing of an accomplishment this is. When I was growing up, I would literally not touch a vegetable outside of corn/potatoes/mushrooms. This is an undeniable miracle. If you told my mom when I was a kid that this would eventually happen, she would say, oh sure, right, and around then there’s going to be an orange-skinned president that’s a narcissist megalomaniac and brags about grabbing women by theOHHHH I SEE HOW THIS ALL HAPPENED!!!
Sorry, if I knew this would happen, I would have stuck with the other vegetables. My bad.)
So I’ve got the corn and tomatoes, and they’re good enough that I don’t want to drown them in too much stuff, so I figured that a good pasta salad would work. Luckily, I had some orecchiette laying around, which makes sense, because it’s an ear shaped pasta. You know, ear pasta…ears of corn…you get it?? I got all sorts of good dad jokes waiting for you.
I also had some basil laying around, as well as some pine nuts.
Now, I was all set to make a joke about pine nuts not being from pines, because I’ve never seen nuts in a pine cone, and why do they call them pine nuts if they’re not from pines. But…the tiniest bit of research showed that they do, in fact, come from pine trees, just a small number of species. So, there went that…oh screw it…
AND WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH PINE NUTS? THEY DON’T COME FROM PINES, WHY DON’T THEY CALL THEM TREE NUTS?
Anyways, the not fake pine nuts need to be toasted to get the flavor out of them. I’ve never seen a recipe where pine nuts weren’t toasted. I guess it’s too much trouble for big pine nut to pre-toast them.
(Actually, there’s a perfectly good reason – they would go rancid – but still…)
Overall, this is a pretty healthy recipe – I sauteed the corn in some butter, but you could do it in some olive oil, or even dry in a non-stick skillet. So it won’t kill you if you throw some shredded Parmesan cheese on top as well.
Orecchiette with Corn, Cherry Tomatoes, Basil, and Pine Nuts
Adapted from Epicurious
1/2 c pine nuts
4 ears of corn, shucked and kernels removed
4 T butter
1 pound orecchiette
2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 c basil leaves, cut into small strips
1/4 c Parmesan cheese
Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add pine nuts and toast, stirring frequently, until they just begin to turn a light brown color. Pour into a large serving bowl and set aside.
Melt the butter in the same skillet, and add corn. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the kernels begin to color, about 5-6 minutes. Remove and add to the serving bowl.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the orecchiette according to the package instructions.
Drain the pasta, and add to the bowl.
Add the tomatoes and basil. Stir to combine, making sure not to smash the tomatoes. Top with the cheese and serve.