4 Southern Summer Supper Recipes

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Run! The zucchinis are coming! They are closely followed by overflowing bushels of corn. Blackberries flank them in a summer race to the table. Though we are all being relentlessly pursued, this “curse of plenty” is welcome. These local treasures, and their seasonal deliciousness, are long awaited.

Since late April when I saw blackberry flowers, each with five snow-white petals, while climbing up the side of a Dickson County hill, I have been hoping to see the resulting fruits present themselves. They are as beautiful as clusters of black pearls. And the corn! Rows of yellow and white gems bursting with flavor and wrapped in pale silk. And, though zucchini becomes thick-skinned and as big as a baseball bat if left in the garden too long, it begins as a chartreuse and light gold trumpet blossom that bruises when touched.

Wild blackberry vines invite us to reach through the thorns and risk the rattlers like Eve reaching for that apple. However, the thornless variety also grows very well in Tennessee summers, ripening between June and October. Check your local pick-your-own options. Corn is easy to pick and miraculous in its speedy and great growth. It’s said that corn, under the right conditions, grows so fast that a person can actually hear it rustle up to the sky. If you see a random woman standing in a cornfield, it might be me putting this theory to the test. And we all know about zucchini. We don’t need to plant it. It shows up all on its own. Though I have never purchased one zucchini plant or seed, I have found it in my mailbox, wrapped like an orphan on my porch and propped up against my car at the YMCA.

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Red Quinoa Tomato Salad

Photo by Jeffrey S. Otto

Fortunately, pork knows no season. Tomatoes in any form are a Tennessee summer staple. Pairing them with quinoa is a tasty way to use this popular ancient grain. This Red Quinoa Tomato Salad is much like tabouli, but uses mixed greens in place of the parsley.

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