If you had to grab a piece of scrap paper right now and make a list of the most popular local summer produce, I’ll bet you wouldn’t have any trouble at all coming up with the top three. They’re the fruits and vegetables we all wait for all throughout the rest of the year because we can’t even make ourselves pretend that the out-of-season varieties come close.
Can you taste them yet? The top three are tomatoes, corn and peaches. They’re all in season right now, and if you’re like me, you are up for eating anything… as long as it is fresh, local peaches, tomatoes and corn on the cob. And you want basically all of your meals to feature at least one of these fresh ingredients.
While I was in the mood to compile lists of produce, I also started to listing out my favorite recipes from the Wolff’s blog for each of the “Big Three.” But then I wondered what your favorite recipes are. Which recipes are most popular on the Wolff’s web site?
The results are in! I am excited to share the top three blog recipes for each of the “Big Three,” for as long as our blog has been around.
Let’s start with tomatoes since they are the first of the “Big Three” to ripen, especially now that local farmers use high tunnels to shelter them from the cold. Whether you use Jersey tomatoes or PA tomatoes, heirloom or traditional, these tried-and-true favorites are sure to capture the flavors you love.
#1. Tantalizing Tomato Tomato-Basil Cream Cheese Pie
It’s no wonder this one topped the tomato charts. It comes from local food celebrity Phoebe Canakis of Phoebe’s Pure Food in Lancaster County and Canakis has expertly combined tomato and basil flavors with rich cream cheese in this savory pie. Bring it to your next picnic!
In an interview with Wolff’s blogger Jennifer Hetrick, Canakis reflected that “tomatoes are so versatile, and often recipes require little work to bring out their sweet, acidic and earthy flavor. All you really need to start is good extra virgin olive oil, fresh herbs, salt and balsamic, and you can whip up salads, roasted tomato sauce, and this pie. It’s so uncomplicated…like summer should be.”
#2. Plum Tomato and Spinach Pasta
This simple, flavorful taste of summer is one meal I’ve been making since I started exploring recipes on my own. It’s easy enough for a weeknight, yet fancy enough for a company meal. It combines fresh tomatoes and spinach, toasted almonds, and savory Gorgonzola. If you’ve been canning some tomatoes or bruschetta of your own this summer, using them will speed up your prep time.
#3. Open-Face Tomato Sandwiches
A thick slice of juicy tomato catapults a sandwich to new heights. Another secret to this sandwich? The chimichurri. It gives it a pop that blends nicely with the fresh tomato taste.
Mmm… buttery-sweet crunchy locally grown corn on the cob. The fresher the corn, the better it tastes. And did you know that at Wolff’s, the sweet corn is so fresh it has been just hours since it has been picked? Wolff’s receives morning deliveries every day, all summer long! That means it’s the ideal ingredient for these three delicious recipes.
At a cooking class last summer, Wolff’s chef Chuck Smith shared a zesty recipe for Grilled Spanish Corn, complete with a recipe for homemade mayonnaise. “The corn was delicious,” Ashley Wolff said about the class where she sampled it, “and I learned how to make homemade mayo! I’ve always known it could be done, and I have wanted to try it, but I never have. Now I’m going to make if all the time!”
#2. Hot Corn Dip with Crispy Tortilla Chips
This one’s a Wolff family original: a favorite creamy, smokey corn dip made with roasted corn. Ashley Wolff, whose mother first made this recipe, says it’s an especially good appetizer to warm up to on cool autumn days. So you can roast and freeze that fresh corn on the cob now and make this to enjoy with a warm glass of apple cider this autumn!
#3. Southwest Corn Fritters with Chipotle Honey
Rebecca Seidel of Wholesome Dairy Farm in Berks County shared this recipe with our blogger Jennifer Hetrick. Jennifer writes that because Seidel grew up on a farm, she “knows how to appreciate sweet corn in summery sweeps of gratitude.” Seidel recommends that cooks take care not to overpower corn with other ingredients since it is so flavorful on its own!
We wait all year for freestone peaches, and now they are here! Maybe you are a die-hard classic yellow peach person, but this summer I have been gravitating toward white peaches, and whenever I write about them for Wolff’s, I know that this is what I want to eat immediately. They’re so sweet, like there’s a drop of honey in each bite.
This favorite recipe is another classic from Wolff’s chef Chuck Smith. To achieve the best results, Smith recommends selecting ripe peaches and watching the baking time, making sure the crust does not get too brown.
A seasoned baker shared this elegant and tasty recipe with our blogger Jennifer Hetrick. For this rich in-season cobbler, Gloria Sands of Boyertown adds simple ingredients (like lemon juice, nutmeg and buttermilk) to elevate the peaches to a dessert without hiding the fruits’ natural flavor.
I’ll warn you: If you make this combo of creamy mascarpone, salty prosciutto and sweet peach compote once, you might start to crave it for dinner, lunch, breakfast or even dessert. After making it with naan, I also made it with regular pizza dough so our dinner with friends could consist of traditional cheese pizza, pepperoni pizza and “Becky’s weird pizza.” It was delicious with traditional pizza dough too.