The Refrigerator Runneth Over

Two bags of green beans

One and a half heads of broccoli

A half dozen ears of sweet corn

Half a head of cauliflower

One zucchini and one yellow squash

Several peppers of various sizes and shapes

Two varieties of lettuce


That’s the current vegetable inventory of our refrigerator, which doesn’t even include the pile of tomatoes sitting on the counter and yellow and red onions in the cupboard. Much of the bounty came from the Tuesday farmers market in Worthington, where I snatched up a plethora of fresh-from-the-garden goodies.

I had been going through green bean withdrawals. Before we left on vacation, Bryan and I had a couple of meals in which green beans were the star attraction. Then we were gone for nine days. Upon our return, I forgot to go to the market last Tuesday. Come Saturday, we didn’t get out of bed real early and figured the beans would be long gone by the time we got there. So I was jonesing for some green goodness by the time I finally got another batch this week.

I think beans are best simply steamed and topped with some butter and salt and pepper. But I do look for ways to change up some of the season’s other produce.

The following salad is originally from DotMom’s column, and I have reprinted it before. But recently I’ve changed it up by adding in broccoli and sugar snap peas. I realize pea season is about over, but if you get to the market early, you might still find a few.

Bountiful Broccoli-Cauliflower Salad

Break up 1 head lettuce into bite-size pieces and ¼ head of cauliflower and ½ head broccoli (depending on size) into small flowerets and place in large bowl. If available, toss in a couple handfuls of sugar snap peas, stems and strings removed.

For dressing, mix ½ cup mayonnaise, ¼ cup sugar, 3 tablespoons vinegar and 1 small onion chopped. Add dressing to lettuce/cauliflower mixture. Just before serving, add 8 slices of bacon, fried and crumbled, and ½ cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Toss well and serve.

I was gifted with some sweet corn this week and have already consumed several ears on the cob. But since I have basil in my garden and avocado and tomatoes on the counter, I think the rest of it will go into this salad.

Summer Corn Salad

Cook 6 ears corn. When cool, cut kernels from cobs and place in a medium bowl.

Add 1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped; the juice of 2 limes (about 4 tablespoons); 2 avocados, diced; 3 tomatoes, diced; and salt and pepper to taste.

Since I’m not quite the zucchini connoisseur my mother was, I’m always looking for new ways to “disguise” the zuke and make it a bit more palatable to my taste buds. Those two squash in the fridge will likely get made into a batch of these pancakes.

Summer Squash Pancakes

Grate 1 zucchini and 1 yellow squash into a bowl using the large grating side of a box grater.

Stir in 2 large eggs, lightly beaten, and 2 tablespoons grated onion. Add 6 tablespoons flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. If batter is too thin, add an additional tablespoon or two of flour.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add ½ tablespoon each butter and vegetable oil; when hot, but not smoking, drop heaping tablespoons of the batter into the pan. Cook the pancakes about 2 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Remove cooked pancakes to a sheet pan and keep warm in the oven.

Add more butter and oil to the pan and continue to cook the pancakes until all the batter is used up. Serve hot.

 Please share your favorite recipes and methods for savoring seasonal produce! Email; or via regular mail, Beth Rickers, Daily Globe, Box 639, Worthington 56187.