Food and Drink

Fresh corn is the star of these summery fritters

This summery fritter of sweet corn and soft, tender herbs makes for a colorful appetizer, snack or even brunch dish. Fresh corn off the cob is the star, but grilled or roasted would be equally delicious; when it’s out of season, use frozen and thawed. (Keep the corn cobs to make ice cream or use as a base for corn chowder.) Endlessly adaptable, sub fresh basil for the cilantro and mix with grated Parm; add in some grated carrot, zucchini, sliced mushroom or chopped kimchi. Fresh seasonal tomato sauce pairs well here, but try with tzatziki, pesto, chimichurri, or other favorite dipping sauce. For a more substantial starter or main, top with an egg or a piece of grilled fish.

Corn fritters with grated tomato-garlic sauce

Makes 12 fritters

3 large ripe tomatoes

1 large clove garlic

Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

1 cup all-purpose flour (or rice flour or gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour)

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 large egg, lightly whisked

1 lime, zest and juice

1/2 cup water or vegetable broth

3 cups fresh corn kernels cut from 3 to 4 cobs (or frozen kernels, thawed)

1 serrano or jalapeño, stemmed (and seeded, if desired)

½ cup chopped white or yellow onion

½ cup fresh chopped cilantro or basil

Grapeseed, avocado or vegetable oil, for shallow pan frying

Grate tomatoes and garlic with a box grater into a bowl. Season lightly with salt and pepper; set aside. Prep a large platter or sheet pan with paper towels for draining the patties.

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, cumin, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon fine salt, and whisk to combine. Add egg, juice and zest of lime and 1/2 cup water; stir until smooth. Add corn, serrano, onion and cilantro; stir just to combine.

Place a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet (or other large heavy-bottom, preferably non-stick pan) over medium-high heat. Add enough oil to generously coat the bottom of the pan by 1/4 of an inch. When the oil is hot but not smoking, using a 1/4 cup measure, scoop mixture and place in hot skillet, repeat with two more scoops and gently press down on each with bottom of measuring cup or a wide spatula to form three patties. (Note: make sure to leave enough room in between patties so they can crisp up and not steam.) Cook 3 to 4 minutes, making sure to adjust the heat if patties are browning too quickly. Gently turn fritters and cook another 2 to 3 minutes until golden. Drain on paper towel-lined platter. Season lightly, if desired, with flake salt. Cook remaining fritters and serve hot with grated tomato-garlic sauce.