Fresh summer vegetables and cheese enrobed in an easy buttermilk-cornmeal batter make a terrific meatless main course. Serve with a salad of romaine hearts tossed with chickpeas and a lemon-yogurt dressing.
Corn and Cheddar Fritters Recipe with Sautéed Tomatoes
• 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more as needed
• 1⁄2 red onion, finely chopped, divided
• 1⁄2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
• 1 large ear of corn, kernels taken off cob
• Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
• 2⁄3 cup cornmeal
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 1⁄4 teaspoon plus 1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne
• 1⁄8 teaspoon baking soda
• 1⁄2 cup buttermilk
• 1 large egg
• 1 cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
• 2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced, plus more for garnish
• 1-1⁄4 to 1-1⁄2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil. Add half of the onion and all of the bell pepper and sauté until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add corn and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until corn begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
2. In a separate medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, 1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne, baking soda and 1⁄4 teaspoon salt; stir to blend.
3. In a bowl, beat buttermilk with egg. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, and stir until just combined. Fold in vegetables, cheese and 2 tablespoons basil.
4. In a frying pan over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil. Add remaining onion and sauté until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl. Stir in remaining cayenne, and cover to keep warm.
5. In a clean frying pan over medium heat, warm a thin film of oil. Working in batches and adding more oil as needed, use a 1⁄4-cup measure to add batter to the pan. Cook until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to warmed platter, and cover to keep warm. Divide fritters between 2 warmed plates. Spoon tomato mixture over fritters, garnish with basil leaves and serve right away. Makes about 8 fritters or 2 servings.
These fritters can be prepared and cooked a day in advance and refrigerated. Reheat them in a 350-degree oven until crisp and heated through, about 6 minutes. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, mix 1 teaspoon white vinegar into cow’s milk or soy milk and let stand for 5 minutes.
Put healthful, yummy dinners on the table with 4 Fresh and Fast Weeknight Meals.
Recipe adapted from Weeknight Fresh & Fast by Kristine Kidd, published by Williams-Sonoma, 2011.