Visit the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market this Sunday between 10 am - 2 pm, on the corner of Agate and 19th Ave., for beautiful summer produce from Camas Swale Farm, including fresh tomatoes, corm, and padrón peppers, and pastured meat and poultry from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm.
We are delirious with excitement when the padróns are available, and want to sear them and eat them on everything. This pasta dish was especially delicious and packed with summer flavors. Starting with pesto pasta, I layered on seared corn, seared padróns, cherry tomatoes, and feta cheese.
Pesto Pasta with Seared Corn and Padrón Pepperspesto
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup whole almonds
2 ounces pecorino romano or parmesan cheese
1 cup basil leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
salt to taste
1 pint padrón peppers
2 ears corn
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup cubed feta cheese
1 lb pasta
1. Set a large pot of salted water to boil.
2. Make the pesto. In a dry skillet, heat the unpeeled garlic clove until it is soft and blackened in spots. Transfer to a cutting board to cool before peeling. Put the whole almonds in the hot skillet and toast until they are fragrant, but don't let them burn. You can also toast the garlic and nuts in a toaster oven. Combine the almonds, peeled garlic cloves, cheese, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and chop coarsely. Wash the basil leaves and add to the food processor. Blend while pouring in the olive oil until it is a fairly smooth paste. Taste and add salt or more olive oil to taste.
3. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat. Peel the corn and when the pan is hot, place in the ears. Rotate to sear the kernels on multiple sides. When they have some nice char in places, transfer them to a plate. When the ears are cool enough to handle, use a knife to cut the kernels off the corn and reserve.
4. Adjust the heat to medium high. Add about 1 Tbsp olive oil, swirl to coat, and then add in the rinsed padrón peppers. Spread into a single layer and allow them to char a bit. Then start turning them to char on multiple sides. When they are nicely seared, transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with sea salt.
5. When the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook according to the instructions. Reserve a small amount of starchy pasta water, then drain and transfer to a bowl. Stir in the pesto, using a little pasta water to thin if necessary. Toss in the corn, peppers, cherry tomatoes, and feta cheese (or keep on the side and let people help themselves to their preferred toppings). Enjoy.