Fretting about the impending end of corn season? Can’t face the idea that tomatoes will soon disappear? Wondering what kind of unjust higher power might make summer produce season so short and winter “produce season” so long?
Make this to embrace the best of your farmer’s market, while it lasts. It is Sunday cooking: you have to prep the frittata, bake it, and let it set before serving, plus you have to roast the tomatoes. But it serves six–enough for a Sunday dinner with friends who also want to squeeze every last bit of summer weekend goodness out of the day. Or, you know, to provide a bright, filling lunch for you, the chef, every day of the week. You choose.
This recipe is vegan. I am not. Fellow non-vegans: do not be put off by the tofu filling. You will be licking the leftovers out of the food processor. I promise.
Sweet corn tofu frittata with roasted cherry tomato compote (serves 6)
Adapted from Amy Chaplin’s At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen
3 cups corn kernels, from 4 to 5 ears, divided
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
2 1/2 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 sprig each: rosemary, oregano, thyme (I have all of these in my herb garden, but just pick thyme, which you’ll use in the tofu, if you’re buying at the store and on a budget)
1/2 cup corn grits, plus more for dusting skillet
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for oiling the skillet
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 15-oz block plain, firm tofu, patted dry
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons rice vinegar (or white will do)
1 teaspoon ground flax seeds (annoying, but I bought a bag and have been tossing leftovers into smoothies)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric (for color)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
4 cups (about 1 pound) cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
sprig or two of fresh oregano, sliced (or a small pinch dry)
pinch sea salt
Make the polenta:
Place 1 cup sweet corn, 1 teaspoon olive oil, and a pinch of salt in a bowl and toss to combine. Set aside to top frittata before baking.
Add water, bay leaf, herbs, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to medium pot, bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for five minutes. Remove bay leaf and herbs.
Raise heat to high and slowly pour in corn grits, whisking constantly until mixture boils. Be careful, as it may sputter when it comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and cook uncovered for 15 minutes, whisking every minute or so to prevent it from sticking. Stir in 1 tablespoon olive oil and remaining 2 cups corn kernels, and continue cooking on low for 8 minutes more, or until corn is tender and cooked. Remove from heat, cover pot, and set aside.
Make the tomato compote:
Preheat the oven to 400F. Place all the ingredients in a rimmed baking dish that will hold tomatoes in a relatively snug single layer. Toss to combine. Roast for 15 minutes. Give the pan a jiggle to move the tomatoes around. Roast for an additional 15 minutes, or until tomatoes are collapsed and juicy (as in bottom right photo, above). Remove from oven and transfer into a serving bowl.
Note: these taste like summer popping in your mouth. Worth making a double recipe and putting on bread, in an omelet, etc during the week.
Make the tofu cheese and assemble the frittata:
Preheat the oven to 350F. Oil a 9-inch cast iron skillet, sprinkle bottom and sides with corn grits, and set aside. (See top left photo, above.)
Warm olive oil in a small skillet or pot over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Crumble tofu into a food processor. Add vinegar, flax, turmeric, slat, and garlic oil mixture. Blend until smooth, then add thyme and blend again.
Remove lid from polenta and fold tofu cheese in, stirring until evenly combined. spread into prepared skillet. Distribute reserved corn-olive oil mixture over surface. Bake for 1 hour, more or less, or until center is firm and set and edges are golden. (The original recipe said 45 to 50 minutes–I’d start checking it at 50, but I think it could take up to 1h15.) Remove from oven and allow frittata to sit for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with tomato compote and a side salad.
Reheat leftovers in the microwave for breakfast, lunch, or dinner: