Happy Friday eve!
Lately J and I have been treating Thursday evenings with the same enthusiasm that was once reserved for Fridays. The warm weather here seems to inspire freedom, possibilities and a casualness that I didn’t expect from “northern city folk”. These intangibles have the ability to guide us from 9 AM Friday morning to 5 PM Friday evening with an ease not experienced Monday through Thursday. In fact, my mom and sister are experiencing the same phenomenon halfway across the country, so we can’t blame it on the water.
One of the many things that has surprised me about moving to NYC is the number of people who leave the boroughs on Fridays at 4 PM to go to “the Hamptons”, “the Cape”, South Shore, North Fork, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and the list goes on. While people all over the world are dying to get a taste of the famed NYC, the people who live here just want to leave!! I can’t blame them though, the summer heat makes the trashy streets smell even worse.
While J and I won’t be taking a causal weekend trip to the Cape on our private jet anytime soon, we have found so much joy in our little day trips on Long Island. As a Kansas girl, I find it amazing that you can drive only a few hours from the city and be in some of the most spectacularly beautiful, historic or exciting places in the country. You drive three hours west of my parents’ house in Kansas and you are in the middle of n.o.w.h.e.r.e. Although I have to say that nowhere has a charm of its own.
But, I digress.
A couple weeks ago, J and I drove out to East Hampton about 2 hours, essentially just to take a long nap on the sand. On our way back home, and with only minor sunburns, we stopped at Green Thumb, which has become a favorite little farm stand or ours this summer. There we have gotten some of the most delicious yellow watermelon, blueberries and tomatoes, but this particular weekend we gleaned a harvest of sweet summer corn and shishito peppers. What I want to share with you is the resting place for those peppers and corn—a divine shishito corn lasagna. Because this was an attempt to use up our spontaneous ingredients, I did not (a) buy enough for the lasagna, or (b) take note of what I was doing. But to not share this recipe would be a crime.
So here you have it. Take it with a grain of salt and adjust as needed.
- Cottage Cheese 2%
- Mozzarella Part Skim
- No Boil Lasagna Noodles
- Parsley Chopped
- CORN LAYER
- 8 Ears Sweet Corn
- Juice 2 Lemons
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 4 Tablespoons Butter
- Cippolinni Onion
- 4 Cloves Garlic
- SHISHITO PEPPER LAYER
- 1.5 C chopped shishito Peppers
- Juice 1 Lemon
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- One of the beautiful things about lasagna is that you can adjust for your pace and preference. If you want to make all of the layers at the same time—good for you! If you want to make one layer, set aside, make another layer, set aside, then assemble- BRAVO!
- First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- For the CORN LAYER, steam 8 ears of corn long enough for the kernels to become tender. After they have cooled enough to handle, cut off all the kernels, then use the back of your knife to scrape the stalk’s sides making sure to get all of the sweet juices. In a large skillet heat the olive oil and butter on medium-low heat, making sure not to burn the oil or brown the butter too much. Add your aromatics (onion and garlic) and sauté until golden brown. If you notice the garlic is starting to brown—turn down the heat. You want the garlic and onions to soften slowly for the best flavor. Once they are ready, add your corn kernels (and juice) to the pan and sauté until they start smelling like one, rather than their separate parts (I told you I am having to go back and remember this recipe, and quite frankly this is how I cook…) Add some lemon juice, salt, pepper and taste. Depending on the sweetness of the corn, you may need to add more or less lemon juice. Once you feel really good about what you have created, remove about half of the corn and place in a blender. Blend until smooth and add back to the skillet. This is where I would place the mixture on the lowest heat and just let it hang out a while.
- For the SHISHITO PEPPER LAYER, heat up the butter and olive oil, just as you did for the corn layer. Add garlic and sauté until perfectly aromatic. Add chopped up peppers and cook until they reach desired consistency. I wanted them to have a little crunch so I cooked accordingly, but if you wanted them to be softer, cook longer, keeping in mind they will hang out in the oven for a while. Add a squirt of lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
- To ASSEMBLE, layer the following: corn; no boil noodles; cottage cheese; shishito pepper; parsley; mozzarella; corn; repeat…
- Bake for about 45 min, checking occasionally. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with a smile.
Cheers and happy long weekend!