Farm stands are brimming with local peaches, tomatoes, and corn. In fact the peaches this year have been the best I’ve tasted in years. I’ve been using them in everything, and I do mean everything.
I’ve stumbled on a new taste discovery that tickled my taste buds and made me stand up and take notice. I use the word “stumble” because I didn’t actually discover it, I just happened upon it when I made a salsa with tomatoes and peaches for broiled salmon.
What would summer be without peaches and tomatoes? Until recently, I’d never actually eaten them at the same time. The wonderful sweetness of ripe peaches and the rich, tangy flavors of local tomatoes are out of this world fabulous together. If you're skeptical, and I'm sure some of you are, before you try these recipes, slice a peach and a tomato, add a little fresh basil, a drizzle of oil, and some freshly ground black pepper, and give it a try. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. Has anyone else tried peaches and tomatoes together?
I’ve also included fresh corn, which is also in season. At our local farm stand we purchased some ears of bi-colored corn that the grower recommended. As we were paying, he told us that some corn today is being cross-pollinated with sugar cane to make it sweeter. I did some research and found that there are varieties of sugar-enhanced corn (most probably what we purchased) that are grown for retail sales and local markets, but I haven’t been able to confirm the information about cross-pollination. If you know anything about this, please share it. To compensate for the sweetness in the corn, I added a dash of hot sauce to the vinaigrette. Be sure to taste your corn first, and then added the optional hot sauce only if it needs it.
This stuffing is fabulous with the crunch of the cucumber and red onion mixed with the corn, peaches, and basil. I almost ate it all before I stuffed the tomatoes. It won’t hurt my feelings if you leave out the peaches, but I encourage you to give it a try as it is. Maybe your taste buds will tickle too.
Summer Stuffed Tomatoes
From My Carolina Kitchen
4 smallish tomatoes
1 cup chopped European seedless cucumber
1 cup fresh corn kernels, blanched
½ cup chopped red onion
2 small peaches, peeled, seeded, and cut into small chunks
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, julienned
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Several dashes of hot sauce such as Tabasco, optional
Wash the tomatoes, then cut off the tops and carefully scoop out the flesh and seeds with a spoon. Sprinkle them with salt and turn them upside down on a paper towel so the excess water will drain out.
Combine the cucumber, corn and red onion in a bowl, and gently toss with a rubber spatula. Combine the vinaigrette ingredients together in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake well.
Just before serving, prepare the peaches and fresh basil and add to the vegetable mixture. Toss very gently with a rubber spatula, add the vinaigrette and sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Again toss gently, then taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly. Stuff vegetables into the prepared tomatoes and serve at once. Makes 4 servings.
You know what they say – what grows together, goes together.