Fresh and fabulous summer recipes


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – August in Michigan is peak produce season and now is the time to visit your local farmers market and pick up all the beautiful options that west Michigan has to offer!

Tomatoes and sweet corn are two items that you need to pick up. Both deliciously sweet and extremely versatile.  Chef Jen is here to share a few ideas on that subject.

Cherry Tomato, Farro & Feta Hummus Bowls

Serves 4

All you need:

  • 2 cups hummus (any flavor)
  • 1 ½ cups cooked farro (or quinoa)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup cooked chickpeas (homemade or canned)
  • ½ cup cubed feta cheese
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Coarse sea salt, for finishing

All you do:

1. Spread hummus into 4 wide bowls.

2. Top with cooked farro, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, feta and arugula.

3. Drizzle the tops with fresh lemon juice, then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.


All you need:

  • 4 large very ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 slices French bread, crusts removed, torn into pieces
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives, for garnish  

All you do:

1. Combine tomatoes, cucumber, onion, pepper, garlic and salt in a large bowl and toss gently. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2. Blend the veggies and bread in a high-speed blender until smooth. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and sherry vinegar.

3. Strain the soup through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl. Adjust seasonings as needed with salt and pepper.

4. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with chives and freshly cracked black pepper.

*Gazpacho can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days

Fresh Tomato Sauce

Makes 4 cups

All you need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 cups diced tomatoes (plum, cherry, heirloom, Roma  any will work)
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
  • ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano

All you do:

1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Add tomato paste and water and stir to combine; simmer for 2 minutes.

2. Add tomatoes and turn heat to medium-high. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the tomatoes start to release their juices. Remove pan from heat.

3. Carefully transfer the sauce to a blender and blend until smooth. Add in the basil, parsley and oregano and blend for 10 seconds longer.

4. Use sauce immediately or store in the fridge for up to 3 days (you can also freeze it for up to 6 months).

Sweet Corn Crab Cakes with Avocado Crema

Serves 4

All you need:

  • 1 (6.5 oz.) can lump crab meat
  • 1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons mayo
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 ears sweet corn, kernels removed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Crema
  • 1 small ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons chopped chives (plus more for garnish)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

All you do:

1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Mix the crab cake ingredients in a large bowl. Place in the freezer for 5 minutes to firm.

3. Using an ice cream scoop, shape the mixture into 4 patties. Saute in coconut oil over medium-high heat for 2 minutes per side, then transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes longer.

4. While the crab cakes bake, combine the crema ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

5. Once out of the oven, let the crab cakes rest for 5 minutes, then transfer to a serving platter. Top with crema, garnish with chives and serve.

Berry Sweet Corn Crisp

Serves 6

All you need:

  • 2 cups fresh (or frozen) blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh (or frozen) blackberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Pinch salt
  • Topping
  • 3/4 cup oats (gluten-free or regular)
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 stick cold salted butter, cubed
  • 2 ears sweet corn, kernels removed
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)

All you do:

1. Preheat oven to 375. Lightly butter a 10-inch cast iron skillet (or 2-qt. baking dish).

2. In a medium bowl, combine blueberries, blackberries, jalapeno, sugar, lemon zest/juice, cornstarch and salt. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.

3. Place oats, cornmeal, sugar, cinnamon and butter in a food processor and pulse until crumbly. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl and stir in corn kernels. Sprinkle over the berry mixture.

4. Place crumble in the oven for 45 minutes, or until bubbly. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then dish into bowls and top with a scoop of ice cream, if desired.

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