Ok, here is our detox-but-its-still-a-holiday-week compromise dish for the next few days/weeks/months.
How was your fourth? We did a party on Tuesday and yesterday with friends/toddlers/grilling, I ate way too much beef and loved slash regretted it, and I feel like I can’t shower enough times to become not sweaty. Suggestions welcome for that one. The humidity around here is quite excessive.
So let’s talk about this compromise food. Wonderful veggie base, corn and tomatoes that are getting just so good this time of year. Garlic for your health and happiness. Then for mental health and protein pancetta and cheese because you’re worth it, basil at the end because of course there is. The best part of it is that it’s made super quickly so the ingredients stay super fresh and not mushy at all, and we have a healthy + worth it meal in half an hour or so with very little fuss.
You need! Corn – fresh or frozen is just fine. Pancetta, garlic, mozzarella, butter, salt, pepper, sugar, and a tomato + some fresh basil. Optional is a jalapeno or other spicy pepper – we had a serano from our yard that I added on a whim and the extra heat and pepper flavor were so good.
This is made entirely in a skillet, so choose a medium size that can also go in the oven – cast iron, stainless steel, and even some nonstick pans can go from stovetop to oven depending on the brand. Preheat the oven to 375F then start by heating the skillet to medium high heat and cooking the pancetta for about five minutes or until it is crispy at the edges.
When the pancetta is crispy, add the corn with a pat of butter, the chopped pepper (if using), and garlic to the skillet. Turn the heat off the skillet and stir the veggies into the pancetta.
Sprinkle the dish with salt and pepper, then layer the mozzarella cubes and tomatoes over the dish in single layers. Sprinkle the tomatoes with salt, pepper, and the sugar.
Transfer the dish to the oven and bake it for 20-25 minutes just until the cheese is bubbly and the tomatoes have wilted. Look!
I adore this combo of fresh veggies and savory cheese with the salty pancetta. Basil on top is the MOST delicious icing on the cake, so summery tasting.
We ate this plain, scooped onto a plate and devoured in seconds. I also think it would be a great side dish for a larger meal or as part of a bigger lunch with a side salad and some bread, maybe even some grilled shrimp if you’re into it.
The thing IS, though, that this is perfect on its own with no accompaniments, so that means there is no excuse to make it TODAY.
- 2 ounces cubed pancetta
- 2 ears corn, kernels scraped from the cob (or sub 2 cups frozen corn kernels)
- 1 jalapeno, minced, optional
- 1 tablespoon butter
- salt and pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 ounces cubed mozzarella
- 1 medium tomato, very thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- fresh basil for serving
Preheat the oven to 375F and a medium ovenproof skillet to medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook for about 5 minutes or until crispy at the edges.
Turn the heat off the skillet, and add the corn, pepper (if using), butter, and garlic to the skillet. Stir to combine and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle the mozzarella cubes over the corn mixture and top with an even layer of tomato slices, overlapping them if needed depending on the size of your skillet and the tomato you are using. Sprinkle the tomatoes with more salt, pepper, and the sugar.
Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and the tomatoes have wilted. Serve immediately as a side dish or main course topped with fresh basil.