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Corn Moon Recipe: Calabacitas with Herbed Crema

The intense drought this summer has wreaked havoc on the midwestern farming regions. Author and farmer Gene Logsdon’s neighbors lost most of their corn. And with biotech companies introducing the first GMO sweet corn to markets this summer, we’re thinking the Corn Moon is a bit of a mixed blessing this year. Between the crazy climate and insane corporations, there’s plenty of food for thought as the harvest season approaches — if not quite as much food for our bellies as we had hoped.

What better time to reconnect with a traditional understanding of the seasons? This recipe from Full Moon Feast ought to help.

The following recipe has been excerpted from Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection by Jessica Prentice.

The ancient Celts and many Native American peoples called the lunar phase that fell on the cusp of summer and fall—when the grains were ripe in the field and ready to be harvested—the Corn Moon.

Serves 3–4

Calabacitas

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, butter, or other fat
  • 2 large leeks or onions, diced
  • 5 medium summer squash such as crookneck, yellow zucchini, or zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and sliced on the diagonal
  • Leaves from 1 sprig fresh marjoram or oregano; or 2 sage leaves, minced
  • 3 ears corn, kernels cut off the cob
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (page 299) or filtered water (or more as needed)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 medium heirloom tomatoes (or 1 large, or a few small), diced into small cubes
  1. Heat the olive oil (or other fat) in a heavy-bottomed shallow pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks or onions and sauté until translucent but not brown.
  2. Add the squash and sauté until it just begins to brown.
  3. Add the minced marjoram, oregano, or sage to the pan, then immediately add the corn kernels. Stir for a minute.
  4. Add the broth or water and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Add more liquid if it gets too dry.
  5. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the tomatoes. Heat the tomatoes through, then taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary, and remove from the heat.

Herbed Crema

  • 3 scallions, a small bunch of chives, or the tender inner greens of leeks
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 1/2 cup créme fraîche, sour cream, or Mexican crema
  1. Slice the scallions, chives, or leek greens into small rounds.
  2. Cut the leaves off the cilantro.
  3. Mince the scallions (or chives or leek greens) and cilantro together on a cutting board, or process in a food processor.
  4. Stir the minced herbs into the créme fraîche (or sour cream, or crema).
  5. To serve, ladle the calabacitas into a shallow bowl and add a big dollop of herbed crema. Eat with tortillas or quesadillas, if desired. This is nice served with a salad topped with roast chicken (such as leftovers from Simplest Roast Chicken, page 226).


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