For a cook, shopping at the farmers market in the middle of summer is like a little kid at the toy store. Creativity runs amuck from all the amazing produce for sale. For me, I try to go with an open mind and find the best looking things to cook up during the week. So for this week's challenge, I took the wife and kid to the market in Raleigh and came across some beautiful grape tomatoes, fresh corn, red onions and sweet potatoes.
With so many options for what to cook, I decided to keep it super healthy and easy. I used a muffin tin to roast up some little sweet potato crisps, then topped it with a salad of grilled corn and red onion, diced grape tomatoes and some fresh thyme from my own garden tossed with a balsamic vinaigrette. A last dotting of goat cheese brought some creaminess to the dish. I served it alongside a nice piece of roasted salmon, but it would go great with pretty much any protein! Here's the recipe:
Sweet Potato Crisps with Grilled Corn, Onion and Tomato Salad
Ingredients (feeds 4 kids)
Grilled Corn, Onion and Tomato Salad
4 ears fresh corn, husks removed
1 small red onion
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 tbsp fresh thyme
2 ounces goat cheese
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
Sweet Potato Crisps
1 large sweet potato
1 small yellow or white onion
1 tbsp flour
Salt and pepper
1) Make the salad. Slice the red onion into thick slices, keeping the rings intact. Rub the corn and both sides of the onion slices with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat a grill over medium heat to about 400 degrees. Place a sheet of tin foil on the grill and lay the corn on it. Grill covered for about 15 minutes, turning the corn 90 degrees every 3-4 minutes. About half way through cooking the corn, add the onions to the grill and flip when lightly charred. Grill the other side also until lightly charred. Remove corn and onions from the grill. When cooled enough to handle, cut the corn off the cob and roughly chop the onions. Cut the grape tomatoes in half and add to a bowl with the corn and onion. Chop the thyme and add to the bowl, along with a pinch of salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, stir the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then add to the salad and toss. Set aside.
2) Prepare the sweet potato mix. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Peel the sweet potato and onion. Using a food processor with the grating blade attached, grate the sweet potato and onion. Place the grated potatoes and onion inside a dish towel (one you don't care about), wrap it up, and squeeze out all the liquid. If you skip this step, the mixture won't get crispy. Add the lightly beaten egg, flour and a pinch of salt and pepper and mix well. If the mixture is too wet, add a little more flour.
3) Cook the crisps. Heavily spray a muffin tin, then add about a tablespoon of the filling to each muffin holder. Pat the potato down and a little up the sides. Spray the tops of the potato with more cooking spray. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until a fork can go easily into the potatoes. Turn the oven to broil and cook for another 5 minutes or so until the potatoes are crispy. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes, then remove the potato crisps.
4) Assemble the dish. Place three crisps on each plate alongside whatever protein you are serving. Place a spoonful of the salad on top of each crisp and top with a little dot of goat cheese.