Join Me At The 1st Annual Food Writer Day at the West Windsor Community Farmer’s Market

Oh, the produce. Oh, the baked goods. Oh, the smoothies and crepes and all those other things I just couldn’t live without. Must be Saturday at the West Windsor Community Farmer’s Market.

This Saturday I’m pleased to be among four writers taking part in a panel discussion at the market on food blogging and food writing, covering topics such as how to start a food blog, what it takes to be a food writer, and why anyone would want to write a food blog (that last one makes me smile!).

My esteemed co-panelists include:

  • Katie Parla, author of Parla Food and the travel app Katie Parla’s Rome
  • Pat Tanner, author of the Dine With Pat column that offers advice and restaurant recommendations to Central Jersey diners
  • Rachael Weston, the author of Gutsy Gourmet and In Season columns in The Star-Leder and NJ.com

Join us at 10:00 am and then shop the market before heading home. I know I will be, and writing about it too!

The Market opens at 9:00 am and runs until 1:00 pm every Saturday through the Saturday before Thanksgiving. You can find it in the Vaughn Drive lot of the Princeton Junction train station in West Windsor, NJ.

 

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Roasted Corn and Tomatoes with Basil

This year’s crop of famous — and some might say infamous — Jersey corn is still only about waist-high, but those fledgling stalks already have me dreaming of all things corn. We probably have another month to wait until the early ears hit the farmer’s markets and I’m counting down the days.

Same with summer’s bounty of cherry tomatoes. And even though I know I’ll be rewarded if I wait it out, I couldn’t help picking up a pint of grape tomatoes at the grocery store recently to roast with the ultra-convenient frozen corn we nearly always have on hand.

Corn — or maize, as it’s known in many countries — is an ancient grain which is believed to have originated in Mexico. It quickly spread along trade routes into the Americas and Europe — and beyond — due largely to its ability to thrive in extremely diverse climates. The Americas are still responsible for the majority of corn production, both the sweet corn that we prefer to eat and the feed corn that is grown for livestock. Since I’m a believer, as I’ve said before, in the maxim that “things that grow together go together,” it’s little wonder that we’ve paired tomatoes with corn in this dish. Tomatoes, too, originated in Mexico and followed similar exploration and trade routes to become the world-wide crop they are today.

Before the roasting: corn, tomatoes, thyme leaves, olive oil and salt

Before the roasting: corn, tomatoes, thyme leaves, olive oil and salt

This dish qualifies as super simple — a side that comes together so quickly you hardly have to think about it. It’s succotash’s more kid-friendly cousin (nary a lima bean in sight), roasted in the oven to give it a sweeter, slightly more smoky flavor. It’s vegetarian, vegan, and one of those dishes where the quality of the produce really stands out. For those of you concerned about genetically modified ingredients, seek out non-GMO corn and tomatoes and make sure your olive oil is non-GMO too. In my opinion, purchasing produce that hasn’t had its genes played around with means you’ll get the real deal — juicer tomatoes, cornier corn (though perhaps a bit less sweet, but more flavorful!), and olive oil that tastes like the olives from which it was pressed.

Isn't this a pretty dish to set before...well...anyone? Roasted corn and tomatoes with basil.

Isn’t this a pretty dish to set before…well…anyone? Roasted corn and tomatoes with basil.

Get your ingredients together and keep reading for our simple recipe for Roasted Corn and Tomatoes with Basil