The recent weather, alternating cool nights with warm days, is yet another sign that autumn is almost here.
But the arrival of the equinox is not an automatic switch from summer to fall produce. Fall fruit and vegetables have been slowly arriving on farm stands for weeks, while summer produce is still going strong.
Now is the time to enjoy the most prolific time of year, when there are still plenty of tomatoes and corn, as well as peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, collard greens, beans, yellow squash and zucchini. We also get to enjoy cool-weather squashes, leeks, broccoli, cauliflower, and lettuces.
Use all of these for easy weeknight suppers; serve soups with a loaf of bread or stuff peppers, eggplant, zucchini or yellow squash.
For more ideas visit a local farm stand where you also can pick up pears and apples for a quick pie or crisp. This tomato and corn pie, similar to a quiche, comes from myrecipe.com.
½ recipe basic pie crust (single crust) or supermarket pie crust
2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (1 lemon)
1 cup (4 ounces) finely shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
1½ cups fresh corn kernels (cut from 2 ears), divided
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil, divided
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives, divided
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
Step 1. Prepare pie crust and preheat oven to 425°F.
Step 2. Roll pie crust dough into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Fit pastry into a 9-inch pie plate; fold edges under, and crimp. Line pastry with aluminum foil; fill with pie weights or dried beans (this will keep the crust from bubbling up).
Step 3. Bake at 425°F for 20 minutes. Remove weights and foil, and bake 5 more minutes or until browned. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 30 minutes). Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees.
Step 4. Place tomatoes in a single layer on paper towels; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Let stand 10 minutes.
Step 5. Whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, and ¾ cup cheese in a small bowl.
Step 6. Sprinkle ¾ cup corn in bottom of crust; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon basil, 1½ teaspoons chives, ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Pat tomatoes dry with a paper towel.
Step 7. Arrange half of tomato slices over corn, overlapping slightly. Repeat layering with remaining ¾ cup corn, remaining 1 tablespoon basil, remaining 1½ teaspoons chives, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Spread mayonnaise mixture over filling. Arrange remaining tomatoes over mayonnaise mixture, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup Parmesan cheese.
Step 8. Bake at 375°F, shielding crust with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning, for 1 hour or until filling is bubbly and cheese melts. Let stand on a wire rack 15 minutes before cutting into wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature.