Thursday, August 19, 2021

Charred Corn Salad with Hatch Green Chiles

As the new school year begins, I can't help but think about the lessons learned in kindergarten.  Why stop at kindergarten?  Practice them every day.  All of us – young and old.  It doesn't hurt.  I promise.  What a better world this could be if we just remember the basics. 

  • Be kind.
  • Share.
  • Be honest and trustworthy.
  • Exhibit strong character.
  • Be a courageous bystander.
  • Put on your listening ears.
  • Apologize.
  • Compromise.
  • Wait your turn.
  • Be helpful.
  • Have a growth mindset.
  • Show gratitude.

My friend at the Saint Michael’s Farmers Market said that they would have hatch green chiles roasting this weekend so stop by (Saturday 8am-12pm), get your chiles and try this recipe (adapted from Chili Pepper Madness)!


  • Olive oil as needed
  • 4 ears corn, shucked
  • 8 ozs roasted hatch green chile peppers
  • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes
  • 2 ounces cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 1 handful cilantro, stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • Juice from 2 small limes
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil the grates.

Brush the ears of corn with oil and set them on the grill. Grill, turning often, until they are nicely charred and vibrant yellow in color. Remove from heat and cool.

While the corn is cooking, lightly oil the cherry tomatoes and set them onto the grill. Cook until they are charred and start to soften, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat.

Slice the kernels from all of the corn and add to a large mixing bowl.

Coarsely chop the hatch chiles and add to the bowl.

Add cotija cheese and cilantro and toss.  Squeeze in lime juice and add vinegar. Toss.  Taste and adjust with salt and pepper, if necessary.  

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Panzanella with Mozzarella Salad

“The only constant is change.” – Heraclitus.  A year of change is ahead.  Travis is a senior in high school.  Elizabeth and Andrew will start driving.  The woman who cuts my hair even convinced me to change the way I style it.  I’m trying hard to embrace change.  I’m forever a work in progress. The road of life is unpredictable and the only constant in life is change, but if nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies.  

Summer, summer, summer and all its fresh bounty.  Mix it all together and you can make this panzanella salad.  There are so many variations of what you can include – the basics are tomatoes, bread, cucumbers, red onion, herbs and a vinegar based dressing.  This recipe from Melissa Clark at NYT Cooking adds in mozzarella.  Plan a few hours ahead as it needs to soak in the dressing.


  • 4 ounces ciabatta or baguette, preferably stale, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 pounds very ripe tomatoes
  • 6 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn or cut into bite-size pieces
  • ½ cup thinly sliced red onion, about half a small onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated to a paste
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or thyme (or a combination)
  •  Large pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  •  Black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup thinly sliced Persian or Kirby cucumber, about 1 small cucumber
  • ½ cup torn basil leaves
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained

Heat oven to 425. Toss bread cubes with 2 tablespoons oil and a pinch of salt and spread the bread cubes on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until they are dried out and pale golden brown at the edges, about 7 to 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

Cut tomatoes into bite-size pieces and place in a large bowl. Add mozzarella, onions, garlic paste, 1 tablespoon vinegar, oregano or thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the red pepper flakes if using. Toss to coat and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar, ½ teaspoon mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt and some black pepper to taste. While whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil until the mixture is thickened. Stir in cucumbers, basil and parsley.

Add bread cubes, cucumber mixture and capers to the tomatoes and toss well.  Let sit for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours before serving.  If needed, toss with a little more olive oil, vinegar and salt just before serving.