Fresh summer vegetables and tangy cheese bathed in an easy buttermilk-cornmeal batter make a terrific meatless main. Serve with a salad of romaine hearts tossed with chickpeas and a lemon-yogurt dressing.
Corn and Cheddar Fritters with Sautéed Tomatoes
2 Tbs. olive oil, plus more if needed
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
Corn kernels, cut from one large ear
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2/3 cup cornmeal
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, finely diced or shredded
2 Tbs. fresh basil, finely minced, plus small leaves for garnish
10-12 oz. grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add 1/2 of the onion and all of the bell pepper and sauté until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the corn and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until the corn begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
In a medium bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, 1/8 teaspoon of the cayenne, baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon of sat’; stir to blend. In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk and egg; beat with a fork to blend. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir until just combined. Fold in the sautéed vegetables, cheese, and the 2 tablespoons basil.
In a clean frying pan over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of onion and sauté until it begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl. Stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, and then cover to keep warm.
In a clean large frying pan over medium heat, warm a thin film of olive oil. Working in batches and adding more oil as needed, use a 1/4-cup measure to add the batter to the pan. Cook until golden, about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a warmed platter, and cover to keep warm. Divide the fritters between 2 warmed plates. Spoon the tomato mixture over the fritters, garnish with small basil leaves, and serve right away. Makes about 8 fritters; serves 2.
Can’t get enough of sweet summer corn? Try these other corn recipes.