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Dinner Rush: Summer Farmer’s Market Pasta

Dinner Rush

“Dinner Rush” is a delicious and time-savvy source for meal ideas and recipes that get you from the express lane to the dinner table without breaking a sweat. Dinner just got simpler with inspiration that combines some everyday pantry items with only five (or six) ingredients.

Hit up a local farm stand this time of year and try – just try – to avoid walking out with your body weight in corn and tomatoes. I dare you. What to do with such a bottomless supply of the season’s best bounty? A next-to-no-cook dinner works for me.

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Individual Sweet Corn Custards

Southerners can take just about any vegetable and improve upon it. We’ve been known to deep fry squash and call it a fritter, or toss sugar and eggs into sweet potatoes and call it a pudding. Take sweet summer corn for instance. We’ll cream it, can it or casserole it — you name it, we’ve made it.

It’s not because we don’t like our vegetables, either. There is truly nothing finer than fresh summer corn picked up from a weathered old farmer’s roadside stand, resting assured that it was plucked from his field mere hours before. Whether shaved raw into a salad or eaten straight from the cob, it just doesn’t get much better than that. But after a few weeks of this kind of bountiful eating — and many more months on the horizon — folks have to start mixing things up a bit. It only takes one too many tomato salads to get us doing what we do best. (Some people may say worst, but hey, what can you do?) After a long Southern harvest, heavy cream and butter start making that surplus of veggies in the garden look pretty darn enticing.

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Friday Food Fight: Corn-Tomato Salad

Mark Bittman and Kelsey Nixon

Who makes a better summer corn-and-tomato salad — Mark or Kelsey?

Welcome to Friday Food Fight, where we pit two similar recipes against each other and leave it to you, Cooking Channel fans, to tell us which you like better — or why your own take on the dish beats them both!

This week, we’ve got two takes on an August favorite: the corn-and-tomato salad. Both are at their peak right now, so we turned to foolproof recipes from Mark Bittman and Kelsey Nixon to take full advantage of the summer produce bounty before it’s too late.

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Fan Favorite Recipes for Fresh Summer Produce

Giada's Grilled Eggplant and Goat Cheese Salad

This time of year, there’s tons of fresh fruits and vegetables to put to use. Whether it’s blueberries, heirlooms, corn, squash or eggplants you crave, we’ve got recipes galore to get you going. From Bal Anerson’s Zucchini Paneer to Kelsey’s Cucumber, Meyer Lemon and Lavender Granita, we couldn’t help but notice how Cooking Channel Fans have been keeping up to date with the summer’s freshest bounty. With all the great reviews, twists and tweaks piling up, we’re back for another call out to the ones that caught our attention.

Light and summery, Giada’s Grilled Eggplant and Goat Cheese Salad (above) comes to life with fresh basil and mint, and crunch pine nuts.

“YUM… a super easy/fast recipe with intense flavor. I used an herb-garlic goat cheese — it’s what we had in the fridge. My wife loved it. I loved it. I’d make this for guests. Thanks Giada!!!” — digrst in Southern California

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