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Local tomatoes and corn arrive in the markets at the same time of year and and are fabulous combined here in one of my favourite summer dishes: spaghettini tossed with tomatoes, corn and basil. What a treat! Go ahead and use any combination of local tomatoes, just cut the larger ones into big chunks. And get the freshest sweetest ears of corn you can as older cobs can be too waxy and starchy.

Makes 6 servings

  • sea salt
  • 1 cup (250 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups (500 mL) fresh corn niblets, cut off 4 or 5 cobs
  • 4 cups (1 L) grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 lb (500 g) spaghettini
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) fresh lemon juice
  • 12 large fresh basil leaves, julienned
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1 cup (250 mL) coarsely grated pecorino or Romano cheese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add 1 tsp (5 mL) salt.

Meanwhile, in a heavy sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat; add the corn and heat through. Add the tomatoes; cook until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Do not let come to a boil.

Add the spaghettini to the pot of boiling water; cook until al dente, 7 to 8 minutes. Drain and add to the corn mixture; toss to combine. Add the lemon juice, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, passing the cheese to sprinkle on top.

One of the staples at every summer picnic is the ‘noodle salad’ and this one is one of my absolute favourites. Crispy fresh vegetables and a delicate coconut lime dressing ensure that this is as refreshing as it is flavourful. And if you want to make it your main course, just dress it up with a little protein in the form of grilled chicken, jumbo prawns or seared tofu.

Serves 12

  • 900 g linguine, cooked to al dente
  • 1 cup basil, chopped
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup ginger, grated
  • 2 Tbsp.  garlic, grated
  • 1-2 Tbsp. sambal oelek or other chile paste
  • 1 cup lime juice
  • 400 mL coconut milk
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 4-6 cups assorted grated veg: carrots, peppers, snow peas, green beans, water chestnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups peanuts coarsely chopped plus extra for garnish

Cook pasta to al dente and cool immediately in ice cold water. Drain.

Make dressing with all herbs, ginger, garlic, chile paste, lime juice, coconut milk and sesame oil.

Blanch veg by dropping into boiling water for 1-2 minutes and then plunging into ice cold water to stop cooking.

Toss linguine with the dressing, vegetables and peanuts. Garish with fresh cilantro leaves and whole roasted peanuts.


Princeton Flower Stop - August 3, 2013 - 5:24 am

wow does this ever sound delicious!

Jenn Turnbull-Aherne - August 5, 2013 - 3:23 am

yum yum yum! Had this for dinner. Instead of linguene I used rice noodles and peeled carrots – with chicken. So yummy!

Looking for the newest and most refreshing porch worthy cocktail this summer? Try a shrub! Shrubs are sweetened vinegar based elixirs infused with herbs, spices or other flavours that date back to the colonial era where drinking vinegars was considered a boost to health practices. We found Pok Pok Som at the Fancy Food Show in NYC and quickly fell in love! Their drinking vinegars are complex and balanced – and they make GREAT cocktails! Our favourites were the honey (which we’ve mixed up here) and the tamarind – both surprising and uber-refreshing on these hot summer evening! If you are in New York or Portland, you can stop in and visit the Pok Pok Thai Restaurants, or if you just want quick access to these amazing liqueurs at home, you can shop on line and have them delivered just in time to hit the weekend!

Makes 1 cocktail – multiply as desired

  • 1 1/2 oz vodka
  • 2 Tbsp. Pok Pok Som honey shrub
  • 1 cup sparkling soda water
  • mint sprig 

Pour all liquids over ice and stir. Crush mint slightly to release oils and place in glass. Enjoy!

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